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Human Rights Campaign’s Marriage Equality Avatar Goes Viral

If you haven’t seen the photo to the left, it’s a safe bet you haven’t been on Facebook in the past 24 hours.

The Human Rights Campaign’s drive for marriage equality has taken social media by storm as the Supreme Court hears arguments in the Proposition 8 case. The social campaign launched around 1 p.m. EST Monday afternoon, when the organization changed its Facebook profile picture to the logo at left.

So what was this all about? “Red is a symbol for love, and that’s what marriage is all about,” HRC spokesperson Charlie Joughin told MSNBC.com on Tuesday. “We wanted to give people an opportunity to show their support for marriage equality in a public and visible way.”

Even if you failed to log into Facebook, celebrities and politicians alike made sure their Twitter followers knew all about the campaign:

And, like any good social media campaign, the memes followed:

The HRC is pleasantly surprized by the rapid and rampant adoption of its symbol. “We never expected anything like this–for it to go viral,” HRC’s Joughin said. “So we’re excited. But more importantly, we’re excited that the public support for marriage equality has been so great.”

And so, like all viral campaigns, this one wasn’t designed with maximum impact in mind. But the simplicity, convenience and customizability of the image (along with the young, socially connected public’s growing support of marriage equality) obviously tipped the scales in this case.

We’re not a political blog, but we have to agree with Jezebel that The Golden Girls, as always, said it best (and we’re not just saying that because we watched 3 straight hours of the show last night).

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