Social Media has the ability to present platforms for the dissemination of information to the public. It allows advocacy groups to spread their ideas ad educate society on their values. The LGBT community has been taking to social media to present their side of the same sex marriage debate as it finds its way to Supreme Court. Same sex marriage has become a human rights issue, and the best way for the LGBT community and its supporters to address their side of the issue is for them to present a humanitarian angle. This means displaying homosexual relationships for what they are, unions between two people who love each other and wish to have the same opportunities as heterosexual couples.
February marked the ten-year anniversary of the same sex marriage ban put in place in 2005 in Texas. Texas lawmakers still consider this a big achievement in the fight against same sex marriage, but civil-right advocates are warning of the negative economic and social affects that will stem from Texas’ inability to keep up with the changing attitudes of 2015. The looming deadline for bills to be passed in congress has advocates on both sides of the debate up in arms, because if these three bills are passed they can potentially undermine the outcome of the Supreme Court decision.
The “It Gets Better Project” was started in 2010 and it was the first major platform created through social media that developed a support system for people who identify as LGBT. In the beginning, this project was a series of YouTube videos telling the stories of LGBT teens that had committed suicide due to constant bullying. It didn’t truly take off until celebrities, athletes, and politicians began advocating for the project. Now, icons like talk show host, Ellen DeGeneres, have taken to YouTube to tell their stories about growing up LGBT and explain how “it gets better,” and how young people should ban together to stop the unfair treatment of LGBT teens.
Another social media platform started with the Human Rights Campaign that started by encouraging same sex marriage supporters to change their Facebook profile pictures to their equality logo. This approach aimed to spread the message that our society won’t be a positive one unless we grant equality for all.
The US is not the only country attempting to use social media as a weapon in the battle for equal rights for all. LGBT community members in Russia are currently facing major oppression from the government that recently banned the promotion of LGBT propaganda. Most people in the US would have no idea about the discrimination people are facing overseas if it wasn’t for people taking to social media to discuss the issue. Lady Gaga, and LGBT supporter, equal rights advocate, and promoter of the “it gets better project” took to Twitter to comment on the unfair treatment of LGBT people in Russia. The “it gets better project” also launched a boycott of Russian made Stoli vodka with the hashtag “dump Stoli” to combat the tyranny in Russia. As a result of this, bars in multiple countries, including the US, stopped selling that brand of vodka in bars.
The LGBT community has gained so much momentum going into 2015’s Supreme Court decision because of social media. The millennial generation has showed its open-mindedness to change in the last decade, and the access to technology has only made their side of the argument stronger.