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What is The Red Equal Sign Taking Over Facebook Profile Pictures?

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During the past few days, if you have frequented Facebook or Twitter, you may have noticed a trend in the look of some of your friends' profile pictures. People around the world are changing their profile picture to show their support for gay marriage. The image in common is a distinct red square with a pink equal sign in the center. So where did the sign come from?

The social media campaign is in response to the U.S. Supreme Court addressing two sweeping laws affecting gay rights in America: California's Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act. The official symbol of the Human Rights Campaign, an advocacy group for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered individuals, is a yellow equal sign on a royal-blue background, and it stands for equality.

HRC is pushing to have people show their support on Facebook during the Supreme Court decisions, so the red-and-pink version was created. HRC wrote a message to its supporters on Facebook: "Make sure your wear red to show your support for marriage equality. And make your Facebook profile red too!"

By Tuesday afternoon, the post had been shared more than 45, 000 times and had garnered more than 13,000 "likes." Of course, there are also some parody versions: one that features Paula Deen riding things, and even an unofficial version of the HRC symbol in which the equal sign is replaced with bacon.

[Related: Supreme Court Indicates It May Strike Down Marriage Law]

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