By GENNA OWENS, Staff Writer
University of Michigan students have used Facebook as a way to support same-sex marriage more than anyone else in the country.
The Supreme Court’s hearing on same-sex marriage has dominated the media for the last couple of weeks, and it has finally hit Facebook. Millions of people have used Facebook as a means of supporting same-sex marriage by changing their profile pictures.
According to the Houston Chronicle, the Human Rights Campaign, the largest civil rights organization lobbying for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights, petitioned internet users to change their profile pictures to a pink-and-red version of the HRC’s equality logo, which was originally blue with bright yellow lines.
The Human Rights Campaign made the logo available in red, the color of love, on Monday, March 25, 2013. They estimated tens of millions shares by Wednesday.
According to Megan Dickey, a reporter for the Houston Chronicle, Eytan Bakshy, a Facebook researcher, notes that there was a 120% increase in photo updates, and it started around the time the HRC petitioned people to make the change.
People and companies all over the country have changed their pictures including Beyonce, Fergie, George Takei, and Bud Light. Most of the celebrities and companies have millions of followers, so their endorsement of the logo is one reason the equality logo has become so popular.
In addition, according to the Human Rights Campaign, Senators Jim Nelson, Joe Donnelly, and Heidi Heitkamp support marriage equality. In a Facebook post, Donnelly said, “While serving in the House of Representatives, I had the opportunity to act on a core belief of mine: we are a stronger country when we draw on the strengths of all Americans. With the recent Supreme Court arguments and accompanying public discussion of same-sex marriage, I have been thinking about my past positions and votes. In doing so, I have concluded that the right thing to do is to support marriage equality for all.”
Nevertheless, this week, University of Michigan has stolen the spotlight.
According to Houston Chronicle, the county with the most profile–change activity was estimated to be Washtenaw Country, MI, which is the location of University of Michigan. It is estimated that 6.2 percent of Facebook users changed their profile photo in support of the campaign.
The equality logo is not only been used by Facebook users, but it is also being used by Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest.