Tech throws its weight behind US marriage ruling ... with rainbows, emojis and software

Companies voiced support for the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Twitter, with product features to boot

Twitter's logo on a rainbow background, pictured June 26, 2015, after the U.S. Supreme Court's same-sex marriage ruling.

Twitter's logo on a rainbow background, pictured June 26, 2015, after the U.S. Supreme Court's same-sex marriage ruling.

When the Supreme Court issued its historic ruling on Friday legalizing same-sex marriage across the U.S., many of the biggest technology companies embraced the decision with characteristic flair through social media, on their sites, and with tools that others could use to show their support as well.

Companies like Google, Microsoft, Motorola Mobility, Uber and Airbnb, their chief executives, and their venture capitalist funders all took to Twitter to post celebratory tweets about the ruling, often accompanied by the hashtags #LoveWins or #Pride, plus GIFs. Companies also changed the colors of their profile pictures on Twitter to those of a rainbow, conjuring the symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender pride.

Twitter, which called Friday "a monumental day for equal rights," unleashed two new rainbow emojis, of a flag and a heart, that users could post by tweeting the aforementioned hashtags.

Google, in a tweet, said it was proud to celebrate marriage equality. The company included a GIF of a green Android robot waving a rainbow flag.

Given the likely impact of the Supreme Court's ruling, and rising support among the public, same-sex marriage has become a safer issue for technology companies to support. Liberal social values in the parts of California where many tech companies are based made their reactions not much of a surprise.

And yet the ruling comes at a time of heightened sensitivity around issues of diversity in the tech industry. Whether it's leveraged this way or not, the Supreme Court ruling offers a convenient opportunity for companies to cast their brands in the light of openness and acceptance.

Some executives expressed wholehearted support for the ruling. Tim Cook, the openly gay CEO of Apple, said the day marked "a victory for equality, perseverance and love."

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO at Facebook, said the ruling represented another step toward achieving the founding promise of the U.S. that all people are created equal.

Josh Elman, a venture capitalist at Greylock Partners in Silicon Valley, offered this observation: "Rainbow flags going up. Confederate flags coming down. Feeling the arc of progress and humanity in how we respect each other," referring to growing opposition to the flag associated with racism in the South.

Meanwhile, some technology companies offered tools or features meant to celebrate marriage equality. Facebook released a filter that people could use to overlay a rainbow on their profile picture. The tool appears to have been developed for Pride events around the country this weekend; the Supreme Court ruling hastened its arrival. It can be accessed at www.facebook.com/celebratepride.

Google, for its part, added a banner to the top of its search results page showing people holding hands and a rainbow heart. The banner only appeared for certain searches like "marriage equality" or "gay marriage." The banner did not appear for a search for just "marriage."

Snapchat got in on the action, too. The photo-sharing app created a themed Live Story around the ruling, called "Marriage Equality," which let users post photos and videos to a feed that everyone else could see. Part of the feed contained a video showing people celebrating outside the Supreme Court.

Interest in the ruling, at least initially, appeared to be higher in the U.S. than in other countries. Google searches around gay marriage were concentrated primarily in the U.S. and Canada, according to a Google Trends report.

But the Snapchat feed was made available to users globally, as was the Facebook rainbow filter.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags social mediamobileinternetGoogleFacebooktwittersearch enginesmobile applicationsInternet-based applications and servicesSnapChat

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?