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Rainbow nation: Here's how America reacted to gay marriage ruling

From Twitter hashflags and Facebook's rainbow filter, a look at how brands and news organisation in America responded to a Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriages across the country.

world Updated: Jun 28, 2015 01:47 IST
Vishakha Saxena
Vishakha Saxena
Hindustan Times
us supreme court,same sex marriage,scotus gay marriage ruling

The US Supreme Court on Friday ruled same-sex marriages legal nationwide, triggering euphoric reactions from around the world interspersed with opposition from various quarters.

What stood out, however, was how many organisations including news publishers in the US voiced their support for the verdict with flying colours. Type in “gay marriage” on Google and you’ll know what we mean.

As users celebrating the ruling and news organisations reporting the landmark judgement painted Twitter in pride colours, the micro-blogging hub of conversation announced new “hashflag emojis” with hashtags #Pride and #LoveWins.

Twitter even modified its logo to find itself in the company of many other brands that gave their identities a rainbow-makeover across social media platforms.

YouTube, the video-streaming website, has seen many uploads over the years of anxious individuals coming out of the closet. Compiling these with marriage-videos of same-sex couples and celebrities discussing homosexuality, the website shared an emotional video titled “YouTube is #ProudToLove the LGBT community and marriage equality.”

“The United States took a step in the right direction today,” read a post on its Facebook page.

The video was well-received and described as a “tear-jerker” by many. By noon on Saturday, almost 16 hours after it was shared – the video had been played almost 1.6 million times with 65,000 ‘likes’ and 6,000 ‘dislikes’.

While brands updated their profile pictures, users weren’t too far behind either. Facebook was quick to introduce a “Celebrate Pride” tool that allowed users to see a preview their of pictures with a rainbow filter.

And the euphoria wasn’t limited to social media.

Users of the popular but controversy-ridden cab service Uber found little rainbows on cars while using the app. These modifications were limited to the United States, however.

“We’re on board. Diversity strengthens us all & today we celebrate #MarriageEquality & the landmark #SCOTUS decision,” tweeted American Airlines sharing a shot of a pride-modified version of the airline cabin.

Even an ice-cream business in Vermont decided to rename its staple offering as a tribute to the ruling.

The icing on the cake, however, was how monuments around the US lit up in support of marriage equality.

The presidential residence, the White House, too lit up in rainbow colours and even extended the celebration to its social media platforms.

The American media, too, left no stones unturned to express their vehement support for the ruling. Most major dailies carried editorials hailing the Supreme Court verdict.

“Justice Kennedy’s opinion will affect the course of American history, and it will change lives starting now,” read a New York Times editorial.

USA Today carried a column titled “Why straight Americans should love the same-sex marriage ruling” that read “it's a victory for every American who cares passionately about the protection of civil rights for all US minorities, whether that minority status is based on age, gender, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation.”

The celebration struck a familiar chord for magazine Vanity Fair that carried an exclusive profile of Caitlyn Jenner earlier this month, winning it laurels from around the world.

Previously known as Bruce Jenner, Caitlyn is an Olympic champion and American TV personality who came under paparazzi scrutiny after she announced a sex-change.

A common sight on Facebook was maps representing states where "same-sex" marriage was now legal. Sample these:

On top of them all was a local newspaper named 'PennLive/The Patriot-News' which announced it "will no longer accept, nor will it print, op-Eds and letters to the editor in opposition to same-sex marriage."

The daily clarified later that it will allow discussion on the court's decision, but "arguments that gay marriage is wrong/unnatural are out."

Not everyone, however, was as approving.

For CNN, Ken Connelly a “legal counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, which filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the marriage cases at the US Supreme Court,” explained why he believed the Supreme Court had gotten it wrong.

“Entirely absent is any reliance on national or international consensus on the matter, to which the Supreme Court has all too often resorted to justify profound legal shifts on issues of landmark importance,” he wrote.

Often controversial, Fox News wasn't awfully supportive of the ruling either.

Another news provider US News carried a column titled "This Is Only the Beginning" which read "The Supreme Court's decision legalizing gay marriage nationwide presents a threat to religious liberty."

Perhaps among those the most critical of the judgement was National Review a magazine that describes itself as "America’s most-influential and largest-circulation journal of conservative opinion" on its Facebook page.

Sample an excerpt from its editorial:

"The majority points out how marriage has evolved over millennia — though hardly beyond recognition — and suggests it now must encompass homosexual relationships. But marriage evolved as societies and governments did — not as the result of imperious court decisions. Until the last several years, capped by this decision. This sloppy, arrogant precedent should worry even Americans who rejoice at the result."

Republican heavyweight Ted Cruz wrote an op-ed "Constitutional Remedies to a Lawless Supreme Court" for the magazine. "We must not submit our constitutional freedoms, and the promise of our nation, to judicial tyranny," he wrote while sharing the article on Twitter.

Before we wrap up, here’s a look at some popular tweets applauding US’s newly acquired marriage equality status:

First Published: Jun 27, 2015 16:16 IST