Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Maryland clothing store gets "protests" over displaying and selling gay-marriage-friendly T-shirt

ABC affiliate station WJLA in Washington DC (actually Arlington VA) is reporting that threats were made against an apparel store in Silver Spring, Maryland (it is also reported to have a store in Georgetown in DC) for window-displaying and selling a T-shirt that says “Legalize Gay: Repeal Prop 8 Now”. The language on the shirt obviously refers to gay marriage and to the Proposition 8 referendum in California in Nov. 2008 that overturned the state supreme court decision that had earlier required the state to recognize gay marriage.

The link for the detailed story is here. The television station carried the story on its 6 PM evening news segment, just before ABC Nightly News. According to WJLA, the store says that it does not respond to such tactics.

Silver Spring is an important (and historic) suburb, with a high-rise business center, north of Washington DC, generally thought to be politically and socially liberal as a whole, and this incident seems like an anomaly. The AFI Silver Theater holds many important film festivals there, and the Discovery Channel is located nearby.

Some people do seem unnerved by the idea that the social prestige and reassurance they get from old institutions can be challenged by sharing the rights and benefits with others.

Update: July 23

NBCWashington provided an even more detailed story by Matthew Stabley here. The station has a T-shirt picture on the story with the caption "We're trying to trick violent same-sex marriage opponents into smashing their computers."

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