Interactive social networking website Facebook has recently launched its same-sex couple icon. With world leaders like President Barack Obama supporting same sex marriages, more and more groups have become open-minded in embracing and including this marginalized sector of society in their respective businesses and social concerns. About a few weeks ago, Apple also launched its same-sex couple and family emojis in its iOS 6 operating system. A similar support was also done by the Oreo’s Facebook page. Last week, the cookie company posted a rainbow-colored, six-layered Oreo cookie on interactive websites Twitter and Facebook.
Since same sex marriage is not honored in a lot of territories, couples can now have an avenue to profess their eternal love to their better half. In the United States, it is only legal and honored in nine states. Discrimination is still very much existing. In these states, married gay couples do not receive the same tax benefits as married heterosexual couples enjoy.
Chris Hughes, who is among Facebook’s co-founders, was the first to use this new added feature. He announced his marriage to partner Sean Eldridge on the website’s latest service. Like its other relationship options, gay couples can now register as married, complete with the “wedding cake” icons of two blue women or two blue men. They got married in New York and after being hitched the new icon showed up on their respective Facebook pages. Among the different options for same sex relationships are partnerships and civil unions. Choosing the relationship status “married” would entail the appearance of the default icon of a man and a woman.
Several lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or LGBT groups had commended these efforts of the interactive website for the said community. According to The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation or GLAAD’s spokesperson Allison Palmer, the addition of civil union and domestic partnership in the website’s profile options let same-sex couples become recognized in the society in a new different way. The new marriage icons for profile page’s timelines as well are considered as additional development for the marginalized community.
This new development in the website means a lot to them because it represents the choices they made and seeing themselves as they are is highly regarded. According to another GLAAD’s spokesperson Rich Ferraro, the consciousness being offered on Facebook can give chance for better advocacy of gay rights in the future. This also creates more awareness on how same-sex couples can be as loving and as committed as any other couple. It also enables same-sex families to be accepted in the society as well. This unexpected communal effort of the social media company had earned it GLAAD’s first Media Award just recently.
Another personality who used this icon is author, writer and activist Jeremy Hooper. The author of the latest book “If It’s a Choice…” updated his current status just last Sunday July 1, 2012. He posted a relationship status update on his marriage with healthcare CEO Andrew Shulman that happened in Connecticut three years ago, June 2009. He also added a photo of their union as a happy couple in his timeline, complete with the two-groom, cake topper-style icon.