Facebook

Set status to 'fabulous': Millions of Facebook users 'like' gay marriage

June 27, 2013 at 4:21 PM ET

Facebook revealed today that roughly 70 percent of its users in the United States now have friends who identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual, which might help explain why the social network saw well over 3 million mentions of today's Supreme Court decisions in favor of marriage equality.
NBC News
Facebook says roughly 70 percent of its users in the United States now have friends who identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual, which might help explain why the social network saw well over 3 million mentions of today's Supreme Court decisions in favor of marriage equality.

Within 24 hours of the United States Supreme Court's two landmark decisions on same-sex marriage, Facebook saw an unprecedented spike in user activity around the issue, the social network said Thursday.

A Facebook spokesperson told NBC News that more than 4 million mentions of its top 10 keywords related to the court's decisions on California's Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act — terms like "doma," "gay," "unconstitutional," "prop 8," "marriage" and, of course, "equal."

In the United States alone, this also led to more than 15 million interactions (likes, comments on one another's status updates, and posts) related to the Supreme Court cases. Worldwide, Facebook says that more than 25 million users changed their profile pictures on Wednesday in response to the decisions — a million more than on Mother's Day.

This avalanche of status updates and comments about the decision might be explained in part by another piece of data Facebook shared: roughly 70 percent of all Facebook users in America have at least one friend who has identified himself or herself on the social network as gay, lesbian or bisexual.

Earlier this year, much of Facebook went pink-and-equal in support of marriage equality.

"Oh man. Doma-status liking spree," one of my Facebook friends wrote his morning shortly after the first of the two Supreme Court rulings was announced.

Another, who is lesbian, invoked a song from "West Side Story" when she posted this on Facebook about the news: "I FEEL PRETTY AND WITTY AND GAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

This article was updated at 3:44 p.m. ET Thursday, June 27.

Yannick LeJacq is a contributing writer for NBC News who has also covered technology and games for Kill Screen, The Wall Street Journal and The Atlantic. You can follow him on Twitter at @YannickLeJacq and reach him by email at: ylejacq@gmail.com.

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