Social Media and the Human Rights Campaign

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There has been much talk of proposition 8, and what it will do to American citizens.  This is a link to a webpage that will give both the views in favor of proposition 8, and for those not in favor of proposition 8 http://voterguide.sos.ca.gov/past/2008/general/argu-rebut/argu-rebutt8.htm.   Like with most changes, social media has been booming with discussions both in support of proposition 8, and not in support of proposition 8.  I would like to pay attention to Facebook as the platform in social media being discussed for this blog entry, as most individuals reading this will understand Facebook, as opposed to Twitter, and other various social media platforms.

I will not be using names of the people who I follow on Facebook, as this blog is in the public sphere, and individuals can read this blog with out the original poster’s permission.  As of March 28, 2013 out of my 440 friends, 15 of them have the red background with an equal sign that is pink as their profile picture.  The Human Rights Campaign suggested that people change their profile picture to this image.

The Human Rights Campaign’s logo is usually a yellow equal sign with a royal blue background.  For the duration of proposition 8, Facebook users, and some twitter users, though not nearly as many, have complied with the Human Rights Campaign request.  I wanted to find out more information about the movement, and the facts behind the sudden change of profile pictures.  I searched google and found this article which was written by Time: http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/03/26/what-is-the-red-equal-sign-all-over-facebook-and-twitter/.  In this article, the author informs us that the Supreme Court started hearings on March 26.  According to Mackenzie Yang, who is the author of the Time article I previously mentioned, in reference to the pink equality symbol “has racked up more than 25,000 likes and 78,000 shares on the group’s Facebook page in the past 24 hours”.

While I have seen much support, and numerous pink and red equality signs shared on Facebook, or made as a profile picture, there has been some issues of people not accepting the updated equality sign.  I have one person that I follow on Facebook that I saw post a profile picture that has a light blue cross with an ocean blue background.

The person who posted this image as his profile picture identifies with the Mormon religion.  I had people who I follow on Facebook comment on his photo saying things such as “If the constitution recognizes persons of the same gender in marriage will your church lose it’s rights?”. The original poster replied to this comment with “no, but it will literally change the meaning of the word. like i said, it’s not a social program, it’s a ordinance. on top of that, marriage is eternal, and we can be sealed together forever… through the priesthood, which can only be of real eternal effect if we use it the way God asks. the purpose of marriage is eternal unions, and creating families (the way God designed our bodies to fit together). so if you want a temporary, earthly union call it that. but i am in an eternal marriage covenant.” Another one of the people that I follow, and has her profile picture as the pink equal signs replied to the previous comment with “But what do your religious beliefs have to do with my legislation? No one is threatening the way your church identifies marriage within the realm of your congregation. I’m not a part of your church or your views, nor is a good segment of this nation. So why should we abide by your religious doctrine legally?” .  The person who posted the blue cross as his profile picture responded to this comment with “because your taking that religious practice out of my church and turning it into something else. outside of church, what is marriage for? outside of religion, why does ANYONE get married? outside of my sacred doctrine, “marriage” is just a social contract that you’ll hang out together until this life is over. it’s like taking communion/sacrament and saying that mcdonalds should be allowed to serve it on their menu with a toy. it is no longer an ordinance at that point. sure you can do whatever you want, and form social agreements based upon an eternal truth that works (because God designed it to), but that doesn’t make it that thing. it doesn’t make it communion. it’s not about the action, it’s about the ordinance. have all the rights you want, just don’t demean my covenant and ordinance with God.”  The individual who had the pink equal signs responded to this with “Outside of church, marriage is still the bond between two people who have despite all odds found their missing piece. My marriage is not “under god” or by my knowledge blessed by any religion. My marriage is however recognized by the state. Is my social contract to hang out with my husband only okay because he has a ding-a-ling and I have a who-ha-hole? I believe that my husband and I are bound to each other. If by chance our energy or our souls ever separate or get lost from one another we will find eachother again. And when we do it won’t matter what our anatomy is, the only thing that will matter is that we are together and our rights are respected. Just because the nation uses the same word as your church uses doesn’t mean your church will lose it’s right to marry a man and a woman”.

There is much more in response to the posting of the blue cross on blue background, and I don’t want to bore anyone further with the conversation.  The point to this example is that two of the people I follow on Facebook responded to the picture.  I also decided to take a look at how many negative responses I had on my newsfeed about proposition 8, and how many positive posts were on my newsfeed about proposition 8.  Currently I have 7 negative posts, 2 of which are from the same person, and 27 posts that are positive 3 of the people reposted at least 2 times.

I encourage you to take a look at your social media, and see what results you come up with.  I was intrigued by who posted what.  There are also some pretty creative replicas of the pink equal signs against the red background, the Human Rights Campaign’s webpage had some examples: http://www.hrc.org/blog/entry/slideshow-hrc-logo-memes.

-P

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