Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Facebook's Red Avatar Could Hurt Marriage Equality

As the Supreme Court weighs in on Proposition 8, Facebook has been lighting up with profile icons of the red equal sign in support of same sex marriage. This, according to Mary Elizabeth Williams, is a “meaningful act aimed at those you love.” Her recent Salon article, In Support of Facebook’s Sea of Red for Equality, was in part prompted by email from straight friends, one of whom called switching to the red logo “a truly spontaneous gesture of solidarity.”

I am straight and I support marriage equality. And I, too, hope that wiser minds prevail in the High Court, undoing prejudicial propositions once and for all. However, switching a profile photo to a red avatar will not make it so. In fact, it undermines the effort by lulling us into inaction.