Facebook: Gay picture messages launched

Facebook has added 28 pro-gay symbols to its messaging service, as President Obama declared June the USA’s annual ‘LGBT Pride’ month.

The social media giant claims the icons, which include same-sex parents and homosexual sailors, will help people “express their authentic identity”.

Other images show a homosexual wedding, two elderly men holding hands and a rainbow-coloured heart.

‘Gender-fluid’

Facebook said: “We’re celebrating Pride by adding these free Facebook Messenger stickers to the Sticker Store.

“We see this as one more way we can make Facebook a place where people can express their authentic identity.”

Earlier this year – in a move that sparked criticism – Facebook gave users 50 different options to identify their sex including “gender fluid” and “two-spirit”.

Same-sex marriage

The new symbols come as President Obama issued a proclamation declaring June to be “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month”.

In his statement, President Obama said his administration “proudly stands alongside all those who fight for LGBT rights”, and commented that those who “stood up, sat in, and came out” should be honoured.

“I call upon the people of the United States to eliminate prejudice everywhere it exists, and to celebrate the great diversity of the American people”, he concluded.

Compassion

Facebook’s move in February to allow users to choose from over 50 descriptions of their sex led to criticism from a family-support charity.

Jeff Johnston, an issues analyst for Focus on the Family said, “it’s impossible to deny the biological reality that humanity is divided into two halves – male and female”.

“Those petitioning for the change insist that there are an infinite number of genders, but just saying it doesn’t make it so. That said, we have a great deal of compassion for those who reject their biological sex and believe they are the opposite sex”, he added.

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