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American Apparel believes that sexuality should be celebrated, not condemned. When California voters passed Prop 8 in 2008, we let our community know we would support whatever stand they wanted to take. American Apparel believes in freedom, expression and equality, things that are inherently condemned in the prohibition of gay marriage. After printing a few hundred Legalize Gay t-shirts for a rally near our factory in downtown Los Angeles, the company received thousands of requests from people all over the world who asked for us to expand it.

With many of our employees and customers identifying as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered, we are a company that is vocal about our support for the protection of gay rights. Scores of our employees were on the frontlines of protests in cities across America, handing out hundreds of Legalize Gay t-shirts to supporters, and putting them in our store windows in protest of violence against gays and discriminatory court decisions. We also had a lot of fun at PRIDE rallies and celebrations. We've since given away over 50,000 of these shirts, run protest advertisements nationwide and even partnered with HRC for their enormous march on Washington.

When some people wanted us to stop carrying BUTT Magazine, an important gay culture publication, we refused to back down and continue stocking it in all of our stores today. Xtra!, a gay Canadian newspaper, supported our decision in an editorial:
That's why it's so wonderful to read in this issue about the recent flap over American Apparel's support of Butt magazine. When the story first broke in the mainstream I was sure I knew the outcome. American Apparel would pull Butt from its stores, issue an apology to its customers and fire some poor schmo from the purchasing department.

Instead it called Butt "a wonderful fashion, culture and art magazine," acknowledged that it was a hot seller and said it would continue to offer it to its customers.

American Apparel handled the objection and hysterical mainstream media coverage rationally and brilliantly. It's so encouraging that a large US retailer is willing to embrace sexual expression - gay sexual expression - not only as a moral and aesthetic act of goodness but also as a singularly effective marketing tool.
Sometimes what we do is controversial and not everyone agrees with our opinion. We heard this loud and clear when bigots shattered one of our store windows in Washington DC to intimidate us into pulling the shirts from our displays. It didn't work--and we're campaigning now stronger than ever. We hope that you can understand that we're sincere about this and that we think it's important, just like we are about Legalize LA.
American Apparel Reaches Out To UWW Students in Wake of Hate Crime Over T-Shirt

Last week, American Apparel was contacted through Facebook and informed that a student at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater was physically and verbally assaulted for her sexual orientation. The victim was wearing one of the company's Legalize Gay t-shirts at the time of attack. Hate crimes such as this are abhorrent and we deeply condemn them. Despite the unfortunate event that triggered it, the immediate response of this young woman's fellow students to hold a campus wide rally as a show of unity was incredibly inspiring. In response, we have run the following full page advertisement in the university newspaper offering free Legalize Gay t-shirts to any member of the student body who can put it to good use.
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Gay Leeds

Just a few weeks before Leeds Pride 2010, staff and friends of The Viaduct Showbar dragged up and out onto the city's streets to collect for the Pride event. Whilst on Briggate, shaking buckets, staff from the shop 'American Apparel' came out and presented everyone with t-shirts that had printed on them, 'Legalize Gay-say no to prop. 8.'
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Prop 8 Overturned!
Jonny Makeup

The overturning of Prop 8 by a California Federal judge today is wonderful news. Equality and Freedom are very important ideas to my company, American Apparel. That's why we committed ourselves to fighting for the legalization of gay marriage. This ruling is one of many steps necessary in the fight for true gay rights and we're eager to continue to support any activist, customer and employee who is making a difference in it. Legalize Gay!

– J.

Charleston, South Carolina's Gay Pride Event

Charleston, South Carolina recently hosted the city's first Gay Pride event in the city's history. The Pride events kicked off with a parade that I was able to attend while representing the company that I work for, American Apparel. I had the privilege of being on the South Carolina Pride float with the King and Queen of the parade. People were excited and sincerely grateful to receive the Legalize Gay merchandise that I was tossing to them from the float. I believe that the parade goers were not only excited about receiving free clothing, but were also excited to receive free clothing from a company that stands up for their civil rights and sympathizes with their struggles for equality. I was so proud to represent American Apparel at Charleston, SC's first gay pride event ever. Thanks for standing up for me.

National Coming Out Day at Tufts

Students at Tufts University celebrated National Coming Out Day with Legalize Gay t-shirts.

Stanford Students Storm Class

Stanford University students staged dramatic protests during lectures in reaction of the passage of Maine's Question 1.
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Maine Rejects Same-Sex Marriage Law
In a disappointing turn, voters in Maine repealed the law to legalize same-sex marriage, which Governor John Baldacci signed in May.
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National Equality March in D.C.

Thousands of protesters gathered in Washington D.C. yesterday for the National Equality March. President Obama addressed the HRC over the weekend promising to end the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. However, we must continue to keep our voices heard on this important civil rights issue for DOMA to be repealed and for equal protection in all matters governed by civil law in all 50 states.

More pictures

Read more in the L.A. Times

Watch video on Daily Contributor

Watch this video of the Gay Men's Choir of Washington D.C. performing at the rally in Legalize Gay t-shirts.

American Apparel donated Legalize Gay t-shirts to the Gay Men's Chorus as well as blank t-shirts for the event volunteers.

Legalize Gay and the Gay Men's Choir of Washington D.C.
We're gearing up for the National Equality March and American Apparel donated Legalize Gay t-shirts to outfit the Gay Men's Choir of Washington DC for their performance at the rally. Here are some of their heartfelt thank you letters.

Dear American Apparel,

Thank you for American Apparel's support of marriage equality.

I'm very pleased to hear you're not backing down in the face of controversy, including after the vandalism at your Silver Spring, Maryland, store and threats to stores and employees in the DC area (but please increase security so your employees can be and feel safe).

I sing with the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington, DC. I understand that you're donating "Legalize Gay" T shirts for us to wear as we sing at the Equality Across America rally. THANK YOU!

Please forward this email (with or without my name) to your DC area stores so they will know their support has been noticed and appreciated.

I will not forget American Apparel's support.

Rick D.
Washington, DC
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"Walking while Gay..."
Writer and blogger Lee Wind writes about the reactions he got when he spent the day wearing his "Legalize Gay" t-shirt.
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Legalize Gay in the News
From OutFront Colorado: We applaud American Apparel for refusing to bend to the will of cowards who would stand in the way of freedom of expression and advocacy for equality. We appreciate the company's outright support for marriage equality and for the LGBT community as a whole. Don't give up the fight.


American Apparel responds to those who destroyed Legalize Gay window
Yesterday, an American Apparel store in Silver Spring, Maryland had a window broken by someone upset over the company's support for gay marriage. Our Georgetown location and others in the areas have received similar threats. We just wanted to use this forum here to announce that not only are they not going to prevent us from speaking out on an issue that is important to this company and our employees but we'll continue to run Legalize Gay advertisements in papers across the DC-Metro area. We'll also send Legalize Gay t-shirts to any group in Washington DC that is fighting for gay rights and will help support any protest or rally for the cause.

We don't find this kind of thing funny and we definitely don't find it intimidating. Thanks to everyone who has reached out to us and if you need anything please contact: Jonny at [email protected] or (213) 488-0226.

American Apparel Offers Help to Gay Rights Groups in India
Delhi's High Court recently overturned a law criminalizing gay sex in India. American Apparel is putting out the call to help out pro gay right groups in India. Contact us at [email protected] and we'll send out our "Legalize Gay" t-shirts to your group.
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Washington, DC Recognizes Same-Sex Marriages Performed in Other States
Starting today, under a law approved in May, the District of Columbia began recognizing the marriages of same-sex couples performed in other jurisdictions.
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New Hampshire Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage
New Hampshire became the sixth state in the U.S. to legalize same-sex marriage today.
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Legalize Gay at the GLAAD Media Awards
American Apparel donated Legalize Gay T-shirts and gift cards for gift bags presented to attendees at the GLAAD Media Awards, which took place in Los Angeles on April 18, 2009.

Maine Legalizes Gay Marriage
Maine Governor John Baldacci signed Wednesday into law a bill legalizing gay marriage in the state.
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Iowa Supreme Court Rules Gay Marriage Ban Unconstitutional
Iowa's Supreme Court ruled that the state cannot prohibit same-sex couples from seeking marriage licenses.
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Rally to Appeal Prop 8
National Protest Against Prop 8
American Apparel employees handed out Legalize Gay t-shirts and marched through downtown LA with thousands of supporters.

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Letters of Support
I just wanted to send a message to you to acknowledge how proud I am that a company of such success is standing by their position on such a contentious issue. Personally I find it revolting that a country that has evolved over hundreds of years still finds it acceptable to retain even the most basic rights, such as marriage, from any of its own citizens.
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Hey, I just wanted to say I am a straight male who is in complete support of everything you are doing. I wear my 'Legalize Gay' shirt with pride. I have many gay friends (including my girlfriends brother) and it makes me sick that things like this happen. I praise you and AA for everything you are doing and I would love to help in any way I can to support your cause. Thanks and keep up the good work.


I wanted to send you a belated thanks for sending us the Legalize Gay T-shirts they were a hit as an incentive for our survey! During Pride we had over 200 people fill out the survey at our booth then another 800 people filled have since filled it out at home. The American Apparel T-shirts were a great help!
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Legalize Gay T-Shirt

Unisex Legalize Gay T-Shirt
Available in 5 Colors
100% Fine Jersey cotton
Durable rib neckband
Monogram may vary in color
may include "Repeal Prop 8"

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