March 26, 2013

The Day’s Most Popular Photo from the Supreme Court Gay Marriage Demonstrations


It’s the photo I’ve seen most widely published because:

1. The sign, center, frames the issue as a historical inevitability.  (Notice how pro-gay marriage advocates are “closer,” in proximity, to the court.) Whether the Supremes duck the issue now, or not, that’s the main story.

2. Most clever, the flag — as a divider — puts us on the outside or “wrong” side. If subliminal, there’s nothing like an exclusionary device to engage the viewer more deeply in an image (and to locate us in respect to an issue).

3. What creates that inevitability is the recognition that homosexuality, across the spectrum, is interwoven in the fabric.

4. It’s eloquent the way the silhouettes stand for all gay Americans behind the rainbow banner — whether open and identifiable or not.


(photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters caption: Anti-Proposition 8 protesters are shadowed by a rainbow banner in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, March 26, 2013.)

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Michael Shaw
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