May 26th, 2009
The California Supreme Court upheld the passage of Proposition 8, which narrowly passed by California voters in November. Prop 8 added a clause to the California constitution to define marriage as being between a man and a woman.
The Court did not, however, invalidate the 18,000 same-sex marriages that took place in the window that occurred between the day that the Court overturned the gay marriage ban and the day that the voter-added ballot measure passed. So if you got married during that time period, no worries: you can keep your gifts and your spouse.
The Court’s ruling was specifically about whether or not California voters had a right to add Prop 8 to the November ballot in the first place. Prop 8 opponents argued that the ballot measure was a fundamental revision to the constitution. A constitutional revision, unlike an amendment, requires a 2/3 legislative vote and cannot be decided by popular vote.
On our end, the T-shirts swing heavily in favor of equal rights/gay marriage, and against Proposition 8. This has always been the trend, and usually the T-shirts are a good crystal ball when it comes to things like votes and popularity contests. However, because gay marriage is a touchy issue that has involved both politics and religion, it’s not a surprise that the T-shirt design collection swings heavily toward those activists who feel a sense of unjustness and outrage.
Which is to say that a ballot box is much more private than a T-shirt, and it’s to be expected that those in favor of Prop 8 might not want to advertise their position so publicly as those against it.
With Maine following closely in Iowa’s footsteps with a recent gay marriage provision, there are now 5 states and 7 countries (including Canada) in which same-sex couples can legally wed. Other states have ballot initiatives being debated and various protections already in place; New York governor David Patterson, for example, has called for the legal recognition of same-sex marriages that have occurred elsewhere.
As the gay marriage debate continues in California and elsewhere, we’ll expect to see some new and interesting T-shirts crop up. So remember: if you have something to say, don’t be afraid to say it with a T-shirt. And if you prefer a more private form of self-expression, hey – there’s always the thong.