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Bride-bride, groom-groom: Gay wedding? Facebook has icons for that

July 02, 2012|By Deborah Netburn
  • A screen grab from Sean Eldridge's Facebook page. Eldridge married Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, left, on Saturday.
A screen grab from Sean Eldridge's Facebook page. Eldridge married… (Facebook )

Announcing one's marriage on Facebook has become a 21st century right of passage. 

Now, gay newlyweds can make the announcement in a way that is not compromised.

Facebook has recently rolled out two new timeline icons that show two little grooms and two little brides, to better represent the reality of gay marriage. 

Previously, anybody who got married and announced it on Facebook would find the declaration noted under the icon of a little bride and little groom "cake topper"--regardless of whether the wedding was between a man and a woman or two women or two men.

A spokesperson for Facebook said the social media company has been working on rolling out the new same-sex cake toppers for a few weeks now, but the new icons had a major debut over the weekend, after a pair of small grooms appeared over the wedding announcement of Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes to his longtime boyfriend Sean Eldridge.

Almost 2,000 people, including Mark Zuckerberg, hit the like button on the announcement.

Rich Ferraro, vice president of communications for GLAAD, said that the new icons are an important way for gay and lesbian people to express their love and relationship to their family, friends, and friends of friends.

"Thanks to Facebook we are seeing photos of young gay people going to the prom together, and we are seeing committed gay couples getting married," he said. "Items like the new icon add to the understanding that same-sex love is the same love."

Facebook has taken previous steps to be more inclusive of gay and lesbian relationships. In 2011 the company added "In a Civil Union" and "In a Domestic Partnership" to the list of options in user profiles. And in 2010 it created the Network of Support with GLAAD and other lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender organizations to help prevent bullying of those with such sexual orientations.

Responses to a post about the the new marriage icons on GLAAD's website indicate how meaningful this step is for some people.

"It´s Done ;)! This is , In one word LOVELY! Thanks FB ;)." wrote Hector Solis. 

And Katoru Karu wrote, "Finally it will show what it should when I get married."

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