Thousands of people are taking to social media to voice their personal support for gay marriage but individuals are not the only ones supporting the cause. Corporations and public figures are using their branding to ride the trend this week as the Supreme Court argues two pieces of landmark legislation regarding same-sex marriage.
Political supporters of the gay rights initiatives have donned icons based on the Human Rights Campaign equality symbol with shades of red instead of blue and yellow on their personal Facebook pages.
Governors Martin O'Malley of Maryland, Jack Merkell or Delaware, Peter Shumlin of Vermont and Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, all from states that allow gay marriage, changed their profile pictures in lieu of the Proposition 8 and DOMA arguments.
New Jersey politicians Cory Booker and Frank Lautenberg also joined the cause, changing their avatars on Twitter.
As politicians and consumers alike have altered their social media pages, so did brand names such as Absolut Vodka, Expedia, Amazon, and Bud Light.
"It's neat to see that this is not just individuals are taking part in voicing their support. Major American brands are getting on board and throwing their support around LBTG and marriage equality, too," said Charlie Joughin, spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign said.
Bud Light altered the standard Human Rights Campaign equal sign to make it a little more brand friendly, by replacing the equal sign lines with Bud Light beer cans.
This is not the first time that Bud Light has publically announced its support for gay rights. In fact they have sponsored a number of Gay Pride festivals across the U.S. This past June, Bud Light hosted Bud Boyz at Chicago's Pride festival, a gay, male modeling contest.
The hit HBO TV series, "True Blood" created a personalized equality symbol donning vampire fangs on their Facebook fan page.
Yesterday, two vodka brands, Absolut and Smirnoff, led the charge in what might be called "equality branding". Absolut Vodka vowed "Absolut Support" in an ad yesterday and their competitor claimed "Every Pairing Is Perfect" displaying an ad with three different red drink pairings.
Kenneth Cole, Target and JC Penney created gay-inclusive advertising. A Target ad promotes wedding registration for same-sex couples with the slogan "Be Yourself, Together."
Similarly, a Kenneth Cole ad shows a male couple holding hands and a statistic that reads, "52% of Americans think same-sex marriages don't deserve a good reception. Are you putting us on?"
Equality branding has not only been limited to social media. Companies are using television advertising to broaden their support for marriage equality, too. Recently Amazon released a television ad for their reading tablet, the Kindle, which shows straight and gay couples bonding on vacation.
Expedia ran a commercial that tells the story of a man's journey through the same-sex wedding of his daughter who lives across the country. It tells of his struggle and ultimate acceptance of his daughter as a lesbian.
"You come to terms with it and you say this is the very natural order of things in your life and it's supposed to be this way," the man in the commercial says.