Why is the red equals sign the new symbol for gay rights?

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The red equals sign was uploaded to the Human Rights Campaign's Facebook page on Monday.

The Human Rights Campaign—the largest civil rights organization working toward LGBT equality—updated its Facebook page on Monday, making a red "equals" sign as its profile picture. Only a few days later, the photo had been shared more than 66,000 times.

When HRC spokesperson Charlie Joughin spoke to MSNBC this week about the viral red logo, Joughin briefly explained the color choice: "Red is a symbol for love, and that's what marriage is all about." Red and pink have traditionally been associated with Valentine's Day, which, yes, is all about love—and, moreover, red is sometimes used symbolically as the color of passion, the color of courage, and the color of seduction or sexuality. Pink, meanwhile, was the color representative of sexuality on the original eight-hue LGBT pride flag (more on that later).

The Atlantic goes on to discuss the evolution of gay pride symbols and what they stood and/or stand for. From the first rainbow flag in the wake of Harvey Milk's assassination, to the purple handprint and the pink triangle, the piece helps paint a picture as to how everyone's Facebook feeds ended up pink and red this week. [The Atlantic]