On Tuesday, March 26th, I changed my Facebook profile picture, as did 2.7 million other Facebook users (2.7 million, people!), according to The Atlantic. And while it may initially seem like a shallow gesture, the sea of red equal symbols isn’t just another example of a Facebook chain-letter-of-sorts. Unlike the “bra color” stunt for breast cancer awareness in 2010, I believe this is a movement that has real meaning. After all, everyone was already against breast cancer, and no one really thought about their bra color or cancer after joining in the mischief. I know I didn’t jump up and do a self-exam because of the meme.
So what makes this social media craze any different? Because changing my profile picture is the equivalent of me standing up and saying, “me, too,” of me standing behind the gay and lesbian community and letting them know I support them – not just in private, but publicly. I don’t know how many of my friends and family knew before about my beliefs and position on marriage equality. I rarely discuss my politics or moral beliefs, often because I don’t want them to define me. But now there’s no question where I stand on this issue.
This was too important an ideal for me not to make a point to share.
I believe that equal protection under the law extends to gay and lesbian citizens. I believe two consenting adults should be able to enter into contracts with one another, binding them together financially and legally if they desire. And I believe that calling one institution “marriage” and the other “civil union” is unequal and discriminatory.
I also believe that if your faith or moral code does not allow for same-sex marriages, you are entitled not to have one. But to utilize the government to enforce your beliefs is a violation of the establishment clause.
And while I’m at it? This isn’t just an issue of constitutionality for me. I believe that a person’s sexuality is a complicated matter. That we are all different. Not better, or worse. Just different. And being homosexual? Isn’t perverse or shameful, and it doesn’t completely define a person. It’s just another example of how beautifully multifaceted the human race is.
And though I am ready to see my own face again (and make it much less confusing to navigate the social network), my views will not change along with my photograph.
The Supreme Court is expected to make its ruling in June of this year. I have hope that it will be in favor of civil rights.
More interesting reads on the topic of marriage equality:
House and Home by Vikki Reich – on what being a “single woman” despite being with her partner for 20 years feels like
Will Changing Your Facebook Profile Picture Do Anything for Marriage Equality? from Scientific American
You Look Good in Red – from Lesbian Family on how the gay and lesbian community feels about the red symbols