Facebook Rolls Out New Icons for Same-Sex Marriages

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Gay and straight marriages are now equal in the eyes of the law biggest social-networking site on the planet.

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Facebook profile of Jeremy Hooper of Good As You

Mazel tov! If you are married to your same-sex partner, and share these types of things on Facebook, no more second-class iconography for you. Facebook has rolled out little icons -- in, of course, that distinct Facebook-blue -- that will appear in timelines to mark the weddings of same-sex couples. (Before this change, all marriages on Facebook displayed the same one-man-one-woman image.) Gay and straight marriages are now equal in the eyes of the law biggest social-networking site on the planet.

facebook-marriage-icons.jpgBureaucracies -- Facebook included but also government services, doctors' offices, really any institution with a form -- require people to identify themselves in specified ways. Anyone who doesn't fit has to grapple with the process of rendering their life into the rigid boxes that an organization understands. If you are, for examples, Jewish, a race box labeled white may feel in some way insufficient or at odds with your lived experience. And good luck if you are multi-racial. The incongruities between a life and a form are not a challenge distributed evenly across the population but, rather, fall to those at society's margins. Live outside those boxes, and bureaucracies can't really "see" you. With these new icons, Facebook signals that it sees gay married couples, and brings them into the Facebook-approved fold. Welcome.

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Rebecca J. Rosen is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she oversees the Business Channel. She was previously an associate editor at The Wilson Quarterly.

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