The colors used in pride jewelry reference the rainbow pride flag, which was introduced as a symbol of gay pride in the late seventies. Each color stands for a characteristic of the gay community. In the original flag there was pink for sex, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sun, green for nature, turquoise for art, indigo for harmony, and violet for spirit.
The original flag had to be changed when flags went into mass production, as the printer couldn't get hot pink or turquoise, and the indigo was replaced with royal blue. The flag for the bisexual community uses the pink symbolism, blending into blue and purple to represent the shared love and openness of bisexuality. Pride jewelry uses the colors of the rainbow flag as an immediately recognizable symbol of gay pride.
The rainbow flag has been used as a rallying point for gay rights since the late seventies. Gay groups had been fighting for gay rights for many years before the flag was designed for San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Freedom Day parade.
The flag has been used to rally support for gay rights issues and fight prejudice. Although many rights have been won and prejudices overcome, what has emerged is a cultural attitude to homosexuality as something separate from normal society. Part of the fight for gay marriage is for acknowledgment that gay couples are just like any other couple. Use of the rainbow pride flag links the struggle for gay marriage with struggles won, such as the discrimination against gay man through antiquated sodomy laws. Designers include gay pride rings in their collection of gay marriage jewelry for couples to display their pride in being a gay couple.
One of the arguments for gay marriage is that marriage will ensure visitation rights and next-of-kin rights for gay couples in the case of illness. Many couples have experienced unnecessary trauma when one partner is ill, as, because there is no formal recognition of their relationship, hospitals do not consider partners next of kin.
Far more serious consequences occur when families who do have next-of-kin rights prevent a partner from visiting. In these instances, loving couples have been forced apart due to family prejudices.
It is important that both partners in a gay couple create legal documents to enable their partner to access them in the case of illness. However, the fact that these rights are not automatic, as they are for heterosexual couples, is a form of discrimination.
An argument for gay marriage is that it will have an affect on the spread of AIDS in the gay community. Studies show that marriage is a stabilizing element in a relationship. Although couples can be committed without being married, the history and traditions of marriage in culture have created a support system for married couples.
The ideas surrounding marriage in culture also place pressure on spouses to support their partner, struggle to remain together and be faithful. If these things do not happen, friends, family, work colleagues and acquaintances will show their disapproval. This ultimately has a positive effect on the relationships in marriage. The risk of sexually transmitted diseases spreading is amplified by the number of sexual partners people have in communities, which is why the gay community has experienced a disproportionate toll from AIDS. Gay marriage provides the extra support and cultural recognition of validity needed for gay relationships to flourish.
Rosie O'Donnell showed her support for gay marriage when she married long-time partner Kelli Carpenter in San Francisco in 2004. The event was turned into a strong political statement when Rosie announced her intention to marry in a television interview the morning before she and Kelli hopped a plane to San Francisco and rushed straight to city hall.
In the interview, Rosie criticized President Bush for his failure to support gay marriage and gay rights. She was later criticized by the media for turning her marriage into a political event.
Rosie O'Donnell has a history of advocacy for gay rights, quitting her talk show in order to publicly come out as a lesbian and frequently speaking out for support for gay adoption rights.
A study of history shows that there has been a gay community for a very long time. Studies of gay culture show the extent people have gone to in order to protect their safety while participating in an outlawed gay culture. These methods include secret codes, knowledge of clothing codes, and even a secret language known as 'polari.' This segregation of gay culture and shaming of people because of their sexuality did not result in a healthy mainstream society.
Continuing to deny that gay families are a part of normal society is a similarly unhealthy act. In denying gay couples the right to marry, governments and legislators are segregating them from mainstream culture. Being pro gay marriage is not so much about embracing gay culture as advocating an open and healthy society.