Kofi's hat

Kofi's hat

MP3s, music news and reviews, and a sprinkling of pop culture. Named by Aqualung's Matt Hales, after his son.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

Ink in my blood, a song in my heart. Metaphor is my middle name.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Urban Outfitters Belatedly Offended By Gays, Stops Selling Gay Rights T-Shirt

It's the eve of Day Without a Gay (December 10th, not coincidentally, is also International Human Rights Day), and a month after several setbacks for gay rights.

Clueless intolerance continues. The world will always have ignorance and bigotry, which is one reason why a popular vote is not the best way to make decisions about civil rights. Should divorced gay women get to remarry? Let's put it to a vote! How about bi-curious men? Maybe people should have to "prove" they're straight before entering into heterosexual marriages. Let's get that on some ballots!

Or maybe equality isn't such a lousy notion, and there's something to that "separation of church and state" idea too.

Urban Outfitters is a little confused on the issues. On the one hand, they're Obama-t-shirt-profiteering, and for a week, they sold a (very cool-looking) "I Support Same-Sex Marriage" t-shirt, designed by Support Shirts' Travis Reilly (of band This Is Hell) and Tara Littman.

On the other hand, after that week, the shirt was removed from the Urban Outfitters website and stores. Brad Walsh, a friend of Littman, writes that the designer, and President of Support Shirts, was told "bad press" was behind the decision. However, she found only one blog post complaining about the shirt; it was written on an anti-gay-marriage site.

Littman's research found that the company's founder and President, Richard Hayne had made contributions to Rick Santorum, a former Senator notorious for his homophobia and remarkable levels of stupidity.

The shirt is still available, directly from Support Shirts, and there are many, many places to buy clothes and knick-knacks other than UO.

Interesting that the store is (now) offended by same-sex marriage, but still selling Position Of The Day: Sex Every Day in Every Way and Position Of The Day Playbook. No doubt the company will only sell these products to married couples.

A friend the other day gave me that old chestnut about not avoiding one place because then they'd have to boycott (and a lengthy list followed). No, it doesn't mean that. Who said it does? Setting up a decision to boycott as though it's an either/or decision to commit to boycotting a ton of places or none at all is a strawman. It's setting up a bogus argument so you can more easily rationalize inaction. People make similar excuses about volunteering and about living "green", i.e. I can't buy a hybrid, afford all-organic food, recycle all my mail, et al... so forget it. Everyone's allowed to make whatever decisions they like, whether it's on a case-by-case basis or not, but that all-or-nothing reasoning, especially from people who claim to be progressive, irritates me.

That was cathartic.

I hasten to add that jointheimpact.com is also selling shirts, both ones geared toward "2nd class citizens" and supportive straights. The Day Without a Gay website is down for maintenance at the moment, but as I recall, they too stock shirts.

While this is not turning into a t-shirt blog... after Day Without A Gay, there will be more t-shirt postage...as well as other content. I'm doing the supportive-straight thing and not blogging on the 10th.


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