As the US supreme court weighs in on the future of same-sex marriage in the United States, campaigns for and against the motion have set the Internet alight.
People who venture onto social networking sites, Facebook and Twitter today, will be met with a lot of red.
The Human Rights Campaign, in support of marriage equality for same-sex couples, has initiated a campain that has seen many social network users change their profile pictures to the group’s equality sympbol.
The campaign is in response to two cases that the US Supreme Court is hearing this week in relation to state and federal laws restricting same-sex marriage.
The first case is an appeal of California’s ban on same-sex marriage known as Proposition 8 – the other case is an appeal of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which is a federal law that defines marriage as the legal union of “one man and one woman” for federal and inter-state recognition purposes.
The campaign has been met with opposition from those who are against same-sex marriage, though pro-equality groups and supporters of the campaign have seen the campaign spread, with hundreds of thousands of shares and likes (retweets and favourites) across social media.
The campaign’s Twitter tag, #equality, is also one of the top trending terms in the United States.
According to Forbes, not only have some of the world’s richest people come out in support for same-sex rights in the US, but have also spent a considerable amount of money for the fight over the years.
Prominent billionaires have thrown their weight in support of same-sex rights in the US, many of which are well known in the tech space.
While not all of the billionaires listed have put money into campaigns, they have all stood out, vocally, against the banning of same-sex marriage.
- Amazon billionaire, Jeff Bezos (net worth, $25.2 billion);
- Microsoft co-founders Bill Gates ($67 billion) and Steve Ballmer ($15.2 billion);
- Google co-founders Larry Page ($23 billion) and Sergey Brin ($22.8 billion);
- former Google CEO Eric Schmidt ($8.2 billion);
- Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang ($1.5 billion);
- eBay founder Pierre Omidyar ($8.7 billion);
- former eBay president Jeffrey Skoll ($3.7 billion);
- Former Cisco CEO John Morgridge ($1 billion);
- and PayPal and Facebook billionaire, Peter Thiel ($1.6 billion).
- Source: Forbes
Despite continued campaigns and big-name support – including that of US President Barack Obama – same-sex marriages remain illegal or unrecognised in most of the USA.
South Africa was the fifth country, the first in Africa, and the second outside Europe to legalise same-sex marriage in 2006.