Gay Marriage: Why Changing Your Facebook Photo Isn't Enough

Categories: Opinion

HRC_equal_sign.jpg
As The Dissident, J.J. Colagrande turns his critical eye on Miami culture. This week: why updating your profile picture online doesn't make you a freedom fighter.

Facebook feeds around the country are now filled with red and pink, as users change their profile picture to the Human Rights Campaign's logo to show support for gay marriage, an issue that went to the Supreme Court this week.

It's a noticeable symbol of unity and support for the gay rights movement.

But is it enough?

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Of course, it's definitely laudable to show support to a cause you believe in. And if you've looked at Facebook in the past couple days, that show of support is overwhelming. That red and pink logo, and its various incarnations, have likely taken over your news feed. When seen within a massive, viral context, it does indeed look impressive.

But how much does the gesture really do? Will it influence the thoughts and minds of the Supreme Court justices? Not likely.

Will it change the minds of opponents of marriage equality? The symbol is noticeable,
sure -- but it doesn't come with any argument for the cause, or any information at all, such as a link containing an explanation of the issue at hand. It's so vague that it seems designed to preach to the choir.

The fact is, changing your profile picture online is a minimal gesture. It seems like
the least one can do to support the cause. Unless you're backing up that pic with real, tangible action, in the form of votes or volunteering or petitioning, you cannot count yourself as part of the fight for equality. It's borderline insulting to the activists who have worked hard to bring marriage equality to the Supreme Court in the first place.


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16 comments
Lauren Kathryn
Lauren Kathryn

NT maybe a little advice on how we can show support in the local area would be a more productive article instead of being rude and criticizing those who haven't taken action...

sw2013
sw2013

I am not completely agreeing with this article. yes in general americans have gotten lazier when it comes to fighting for something. but to say that chaning your pic doesn't have any impact is wrong. to see the overwhelming number of people who support it is heart warming. it shows you that more people are in support than against. there is the saying that a picture is worth a  thousand words, i feel that is the case in this situation. ya you could put facts and arguments with it but it wouldn't be anything that everybody hasn't already heard and know. This is the next best way to attract attention and show a united front.

Cathy Glover
Cathy Glover

I spend a good portion of my free time debating those who still think bad things about "teh gay"...

Mar To
Mar To

of course it's enough... Everything counts. I signed a petition with a donation. But not everyone want or can do it. But it's also good to see lots my family and friends profile pic change.

Jay Thomas
Jay Thomas

"Unless you're backing up that pic with real, tangible action, in the form of votes or volunteering or petitioning, you cannot count yourself as part of the fight for equality." This article is harsh and sensational. I am incredibly warmed by the support I see on my News Feed. I protest, I sign petitions, I've written a song and created a video for the cause. I would not discredit hard working Americans whose passions may or may not go to other issues on the street showing support for the issue of gay marriage. http://youtu.be/aelaMOpLCqs

Jerry Gonzalez
Jerry Gonzalez

Lmao. While everyone was changing their profile pic and up in arms over this bullshit. Obama signed the Momsanto Bill. Ijs.

onegrainofsalt
onegrainofsalt

well aren't you a snob, i bet people are going to be aware with your snobbish message and delete their photos for judgmentally accusing them of not doing enough.

Ronnie_M
Ronnie_M

All of Miami-Dade County in general has an absolutely enormous gay population. I would hope that eventually, in time, gays get marriage rights here too. Changing your profile pic really isn't much, but I think every tiny little bit helps

Mike Worley
Mike Worley

I'm seeing a lot of people talking about this issue. I think a lot of people who are lukewarm about marriage equality end up being more supportive when they find out how many of their friends support the cause. There's much more work that can be done for marriage equality, but changing your default image isn't an empty gesture.

Sam Wardle
Sam Wardle

Might want to check that status update, NT

LGBTSupporter
LGBTSupporter

Although, I think this is a great article, I think it's important to point out that HRC isn't the one who is doing the legal work on DOMA. The ACLU, the oldest civil rights orgnaization in the country, is the one footing the bill for this legal work. The first LGBT case the ACLU took up was in 1936. The LGBT project started at the ACLU in the 1980's. The organization has over 75 years of representing LGBT individuals. Here's a link:http://www.aclu.org/timelines/aclu-advocacy-expanding-lgbt-rights-over-75-years But, especially in Florida, the ACLU of Florida remains a steadfast protector of freedoms and civil liberties. The ACLU of Florida most notably in the representation of Bayli a student who tried to form a GSA and was denied. The ACLU collected thousands of signatures and then was presented to the school board. The ACLU also overturned the adoption ban that prohibited Gays and Lesbians from adopting in Florida with their case representing Martin Gill. The ACLU of Florida, along with the ACLU LGBT Project, fought for over 18 years with various lawsuits fighting this ban. The ACLU remains working on Domestic Partnerships throughout the state and working with school boards to allow GSA in Pensacola, Escambia county and others. If you want to support Edie and DOMA, donate money to the ACLU. They're doing the legal work behind these important challenges.  

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