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People on Facebook and Twitter have been changing pictures and avatars en masse to an image of a red equal sign. You’ve probably noticed. But why?

The Human Rights Campaign, which advocates for equal rights on behalf of LGBT Americans, has been promoting the image in lieu of its usual blue-and-yellow logo.

A symbol of “equality, it’s part of an effort to mobilize supporters online with Supreme Court hearings on gay marriage underway in Washington, D.C.

Mariah Carey's World
(Frederick M. Brown)

The simple photo of the equal sign has racked up more than 25,000 “likes” and 78,000 “shares” on the group’s Facebook page in the last 24 hours alone.


Today, the court is deliberating California’s Proposition 8, which bans gay marriage. It was overturned on appeal in 2010, and that verdict was upheld in 2012.

Tomorrow, arguments will be heard regarding the national Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman in 1996.

While the court’s favorable ratings at an all-time low, some supporters of gay marriage have taken to social media to add to the weight of public opinion.

On Twitter, where  ”Supreme Court” ranks in the top 10 in the world’s trending list, famous supporters of the cause are changing their icons to the sign.

It’s become a popular trend on Facebook as well, although those hoping for a landmark ruling may want to temper their expectations, or at least be patient.

The court won’t rule until June, most likely, and when it does, is more likely to issue its decision pertaining to California alone than the entire country.