A photo of Vice President Mike Pence swearing in new Alabama Sen. Doug Jones on Jan. 3 is making news, but not because of the politicians in the picture.
The reason the photo has gone viral is because of Doug's son, Carson Jones, says Jay Michaelson in an opinion piece for The Daily Beast.
Carson, who is gay and whose shirtless online pictures are popular among gay audiences, is seen in the photo giving Pence what appears to be a contemptuous glance.
As Michaelson writes, "Carson seems to be giving Pence some serious, drag-queen-worthy side-eye, half mocking, half enraged, ready for gif-ing."
Michaelson, a nondenominational rabbi and assistant professor at Chicago Theological Seminary, explains Pence's anti-gay views.
Pence thinks "gays are just straight people with personality disorders," he contends, noting that the vice president has "opposed same-sex marriage and non-discrimination protections for LGBT people. Because to Pence's religious ilk, gay conduct is an aberration, and gay identity is a sickness."
Carson, who shared the photo to his personal Instagram account with the caption "#nocaptionneeded," lives in Colorado and works as a zookeeper, the Daily Mail reports.
The viral photo is actually from a swearing-in photo op taken after the official ceremony, the website Quartz reports. Photographs are not allowed in the chamber, so the photo op was conducted in the Old Senate Chamber, which was used from 1819 to 1859.
Doug Jones, who replaces Republican Roy Moore, leaves Republicans with merely a one-vote majority of 51 to 49, which might be enough to thwart much of President Donald Trump's legislative agenda, notes The New York Times.
"This is a miracle -- to have a Democratic senator from Alabama!" said Sen. Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate.
Tina Smith, a Democrat and former lieutenant governor of Minnesota, was also sworn in to the Senate on Jan. 3, filling the vacancy left by former Sen. Al Franken, who resigned amid allegations of sexual harassment.
She becomes the 22nd woman in the Senate, which now has more women than at any time in United States history.
Doug is the first Democrat elected to the Senate from Alabama in 25 years. "It is still surreal," he admitted to supporters at his reception after being sworn in.
"I am obviously thrilled with my dad’s victory," said Carson, as quoted by the Daily Mail. "We have been overwhelmed by the support of so many people that made this happen. Alabama made a really big statement that unity wins out. I couldn’t be prouder of him or my home state!"
Sources: The Daily Beast, The New York Times, Quartz, Daily Mail / Featured Image: United States Government via Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Alex Wong/Getty Images via Quartz, Carson Jones/Instagram via Daily Mail