Facebook Rolls Out Same-Sex Marriage Icon

Gay couples who tie the knot can now share their relationship status with Facebook friends using a same-sex "cake topper," instead of the bride and groom figurines often used for straight married couples.

The icon was first noticed over the weekend after Facebook cofounder Chris Hughes married his longtime boyfriend Sean Eldridge on Saturday at their home in Garrison, N.Y.

In Hughes's timeline, above the couple's wedding photo, is the new blue icon of two men in suits and ties. There's also a Facebook icon with two women wearing long dresses and wedding bouquets.

The marriage announcement has received more than 2,700 likes and 395 comments, including one from Facebook cofounder Mark Zuckerberg. The couple got dozens of comments congratulating them. One Facebooker said he was looking forward to seeing the icon in his own timeline after he and his partner married.

The Facebook user said, "North Carolina recently passed a state constitution amendment explicitly excluding same sex marriage — but to no avail. There is no law or amendment that can stand in the way of love between two souls. Congrats guys. We are looking forward to using the new icon. :o)"

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, a national organization that promotes fair representation of LGBT people in the media, celebrated the new social media icon.

"Following Facebook's addition of domestic partnership and civil union to profile options last year, these new marriage icons for timeline are another important way for same-sex couples to be recognized," said Allison Palmer, GLAAD's vice president for campaign and programs, in a statement. "This move is the latest in a series of measures Facebook has taken to support and include the LGBT community."

Facebook was the first social media company to receive a GLAAD media award.

In October 2010, Facebook partnered with GLAAD to create an initiative targeting cyberbullying of gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender people. Last year, the organization helped make the "in a civil union" and "in a domestic partnership" relationship options available for Facebook users.

Other companies have tried to be more inclusive. In June, Apple iOs6 revealed new emoticons for gay couples that are scheduled to become available on new iPhones and iPads this fall. The icons include two women holding hands, as well as two male gay couples.