"Star Trek" icon George Takei is lending a hand -- or, rather, a finger -- to the battle for marriage equality in Alabama by helping to launch a social media effort in protest of that state's halt on same-sex marriages earlier this week.
The actor and outspoken lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights activist shared a photo of himself with his husband, Brad Takei, on Instagram and Twitter calling for his followers to give Alabama "the wedding finger" in response to the state's apparent backtracking on marriage equality.
"I'm going to say it. Alabama is really starting to piss me off," Takei wrote in a separate Facebook post.
In an email sent to The Huffington Post, Takei said:
I was genuinely dismayed to hear that a state's highest court would flout a federal court order, which was left to stand by both the Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. This is grandstanding at its worst, and it is extraconstitutional.
You know, 60 years ago it wasn't considered a real marriage if a white person wanted to marry an Asian American like me. And now look, I married a white dude. Times change. Attitudes change. And for the better.
We decided to speak out in this somewhat tongue and cheek way to make an important point. It is all about love, and we, as a same-sex couple, just want the same right to have our love recognized.
We hope enough couples, gay and straight, join with us to make this point. We'll be collecting up the pics, all tagged with the hashtag #LuvUAlabama plus each couple's home state, to create a mosaic of support for marriage equality. We hope Alabama, too, soon joins the right side of history, as all of America one day will.
Others on Twitter, Instagram and other social media outlets quickly followed Takei's lead:
Adam Levine is best known for being a famous rock star and coaching aspiring singers on "The Voice," but for one boy with Down syndrome, he's much more.
Christopher Warner, from Marriottsville, Maryland, is a huge Maroon 5 fan and an even bigger fan of the band's popular frontman, according to Today.com.
"He has just been fascinated with Maroon 5 and especially Adam Levine," Avery Stanert, a special education teacher at the 10-year-old's school told the outlet. "He loves to listen to their music during work breaks. He draws pictures of them. He just absolutely loves them."
Stanert decided to make a video capturing the 10-year-old's love for the star and thanking Levine for his positive impact on the boy's life, according to ABC News. The teacher tweeted the video at the hosts of radio station Hot 99.5’s "The Kane Show", who helped arrange a meeting between Christopher and Maroon 5.
This past Monday, the young fan got to enjoy a Maroon 5 concert in Washington, D.C., and meet his idol as well as the rest of the band backstage, Today.com reported.
Christopher's mom, Cecilia, who attended the event with her son and four teachers from his school, said one moment in particular stood out and showed Levine's sense of compassion. When Christopher first encountered the rock star, he got a bit nervous, but Levine didn't hesitate to make him feel comfortable.
"He was very shy at first. I kind of got down on the floor and he was hiding behind me," Cecilia told ABC News. "Then Adam said 'That’s OK, we’ll all get down on the floor.' It wasn’t beneath him to lay down on a locker room floor with Christopher."
While the moment was a dream come true for the 10-year-old, he's not the only one who had a special experience.
Derick Dillard, husband of 19 Kids and Counting daughter Jill Duggard, has something of a PR cat-astrophy on his hands.
Dillard posted a gross video to Instagram last weekend. It shows him apparently trying to steer a cookie pan-cum-sled into a sweet orange feline, who'd had the misfortune of sharing a snowy hill with some members of the reality TV clan.
"Move, cat," Dillard seems to say, before receiving a shove from brother-in-law Ben Seewald.
Onlookers cheer and laugh. And the cat, phew, makes a last-second dash to safety.
Dillard's reputation, however, has not yet been similarly spared.
But lucky for Dillard, we've got the perfect solution to his public relation woes.
"PETA is asking him to apologize publicly for his actions and remind his followers that Jesus' command to 'do unto others' includes all of God's creatures," said Sarah Withrow King, Director of Christian Outreach and Engagement -- who knew that's a thing? -- according to E.
We think Dillard is uniquely positioned to do even more than that.
So how about now modeling some kindness to all those people, paying attention to his life?
For example, he might try taking some of those 19 kids and their expanding progeny -- he and Duggar are expecting a baby soon -- to visit an animal shelter. We bet videos and photos of that bunch spending time with some homeless furry critters would help rehabilitate Dillard's image -- plus might get some pets families of their own.
Alternatively, we'd be pleased to see the father-to-be bring home a foster pet -- especially if he's received some training beforehand on proper animal care and treatment.
Dillard also could make a big donation to a local shelter or rescue group, and/or launch a pet food drive.
All these would be acceptable, and good.
But we think, the best way for him to really make up for what he did to that cat, and to his image, is to use his big platform to show some big support for pet spay/neuter programs.
Kitten season will be here before we know it, which means that shelters will soon be chock full of felines.
We already hear your doubt. This is, after all, a guy whose celebrity stems from being associated with a famously birth control-eschewing family.
But that's the beauty in this idea: Spaying and neutering cats is a completely separate animal from humans controlling their own reproductive choices -- one that is widely embraced, even promoted, within religious communities.
Yes, we've given this more thought than we've comfortable admitting, and have come to believe there's no better way for Dillard to show that he cares about animals, and his reputation, than throwing his weight behind spay/neuter.
It'd definitely help make up for throwing his weight right at that poor cat.