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Colorado School Objects to Student's 'Marriage is So Gay' T-Shirt

Marriagetshirt

A student supporter of marriage equality was forced to change her "marriage is so gay" t-shirt after officials at Falcon High School, outside of Colorado Springs, objected, KKTV reports:

"I have a lot of family members and friends that are gay and they don't have the same rights as us," Kate said.

The Falcon High School senior took the "Marriage is so Gay" message to school this week to show support, she said, for making same-sex marriage legal. Her principal didn't approve.

"It became a big deal and I refused to take it off," she said.

"Our district does have a dress code policy, all the students are aware of it,” said District 49 spokesperson Stephanie Merideth. According to Meridith, the school's principal acted within the parameters of the school dress code, which gives an administrator room to decide when a line has been crossed.

"If it's obscene, lewd, or anything that might be disruptive to the educational environment,” Meridith said, “Those are things where a judgment call might come into play."

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Comments

  1. What the hell!? She is a high school senior? I would've thought 30.

    Posted by: ila lwara | Nov 4, 2010 10:56:26 AM


  2. Colo Springs is a hotbed of the conservative right - home to Focus on the Family. (FOTF even has its own exit sign on I-25.) No surprise that there's anti-gay sentiments in that town!

    Posted by: Steve | Nov 4, 2010 11:11:38 AM


  3. Where are the school officials when any of the students say an assignment or a fellow student is "so gay?" There is an unjest double standard if a t-shirt is to be taken as obscene, lewd, or disruptive and other forms of identical speech are not. Though if this is a letter-of-the-law violation of some kind of comprehensive, school-wide anti-bullying program, I'll eat my words.

    Posted by: Kuhnsy | Nov 4, 2010 11:15:56 AM


  4. Are there gay t-shirt makers that are able to donate 100's of shirts to specific school districts when this issue comes up? BLANKET every willing body with the SAME message - silent, visual solidarity.

    Posted by: Queer Equality Revolution | Nov 4, 2010 11:21:31 AM


  5. Honestly, I don't like that shirt.

    How do we ask people to stop using the expression, while continuing to promote it ourselves... even in irony?

    Posted by: pete | Nov 4, 2010 11:37:00 AM


  6. A very intelligent well spoken young lady, nice to see kids like this, especially in right wing towns like hers.

    Posted by: patrick nyc | Nov 4, 2010 11:44:13 AM


  7. This is also happening in Beloit, WI.

    http://www.beloitdailynews.com/articles/2010/10/23/news/local_news/news2302.txt

    Posted by: Rachel | Nov 4, 2010 11:54:07 AM


  8. They should sue under § 1983 for the schools violation of their free expression rights. The Supreme Court has already ruled that such displays of political expression are not to be restricted by schools. It's called the Tinker standard after the case involving high school students who wore black armbands in protest of the Vietnam war and were subsequently suspended for it. The Court upheld the right of those students to wear the armbands under their freedom of expression rights protected by the First Amendment.

    This is ridiculous.

    Posted by: SueSueSue | Nov 4, 2010 12:36:05 PM


  9. So this phrase on the high schooler's T-shirt must be "...obscene, lewd, or anything that might be disruptive to the educational environment...” in what way? Yep, this must be Colorado Springs, alright - a real bastion of freedom and self-expression!

    Posted by: Rob | Nov 4, 2010 12:44:01 PM


  10. I kinda think that the principal did the right thing here. If the shirt stated "gay marriage should never be allowed," it would have created a disruptive environment just as this shirt had the propensity to do. We have to understand that when we demand speech like this be accepted on school grounds/time that the opposite opinion can/will be expressed.

    Posted by: Neil | Nov 4, 2010 12:50:48 PM


  11. Yeah the school is 10000000000000% in the right here.

    The shirt uses Gay as a pejorative to put down marriage. That gay people are an oppressed minority makes the shirt funny sure, but inappropriate for HS just like a shirt saying "gays are so gay" or "Black people are gay".

    Schools are really taxing places to run, Students and Parents are easily some of the worst people in the world. When schools get lazy with their students, the whole school suffers. So it's important to only take schools to task for important things.

    ALL APPAREL IN A SCHOOL CAN BE REVOKED AT ANY TIME, It is not free speech! And most schools should just get it over with and have uniforms.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Nov 4, 2010 1:38:27 PM


  12. I love the marriage is gay thing. I hadn't heard this slogan or campaign (if it can be called that) before.

    It's one way to take back the word. Asking kids not to use it as a pejorative doesn't work. It just fuels its use. Kids love the forbidden, especially if it feels harmless.

    I think we should start a whole campaign of these.

    Love is so gay
    jobs are so gay
    peace and prosperity are so gay
    friends are so gay
    families are so gay
    the Internet is so gay
    video games are so gay
    pizza is so gay
    ice cream is so gay
    puppies are so gay
    kittens are so gay
    rainbows are so gay

    I love it. Someone run with this. I have a mani-pedi this afternoon.

    Posted by: Dave L | Nov 4, 2010 1:58:17 PM


  13. I grew up in Colorado Springs and graduated from high school there class of '05.

    Honestly, while the message on her shirt may offend some, Colorado Springs needs more people like her to push the envelope. It is an incredibly homogenized place to be. I never felt like I could be myself in school, but if I'd known more people like this girl I might have felt different.

    Posted by: Michael | Nov 4, 2010 2:01:10 PM


  14. @Dave L:

    Blogging is so gay?
    Butternut squash is so gay?

    Posted by: Michael | Nov 4, 2010 2:05:53 PM


  15. Sounds like the only thing disrupting the learning environment are the school administrators. Instead, they could have used this as a learning opportunity about civil rights issues and name-calling.

    Posted by: David R. | Nov 4, 2010 2:34:21 PM


  16. @Michael:

    Not bad. Just a slight stylistic recommendation. We need to stick to things that the kids do and can't be interpretted as a pejorative. Like I don't think Brocolli is so gay works as well as Music is so gay or Going to the movies is so gay. It has to be things everyone does and likes and wants. That demonstrate our common thread. We're all just like they are.

    Being cool is so gay.
    Being strong is so gay.
    Laughing is so gay.

    I really think we're on to something here.

    Posted by: Dave L | Nov 4, 2010 2:51:03 PM


  17. "We have to understand that when we demand speech like this be accepted on school grounds/time that the opposite opinion can/will be expressed."

    @Neil: A shirt supporting equal rights is not an equivalent to one opposing them. It's like the difference between someone in the '50's wearing a shirt saying "Black is beautiful" to support Rosa Parks, vs. a white student wearing one saying "Black is ugly." One supports, the other degrades.

    "The shirt uses Gay as a pejorative to put down marriage."

    @Fenrox: I think you've mistaken the intended meaning of the shirt. I don't think it's a great or a clear slogan, but it seems to be saying to people who think marriage is NOT between two men or two women, that, yes, "marriage is so between two men or two women!" Given her comments, it's clear that she has no pejorative intention toward anyone's marriage or toward gay people.

    @DaveL: I could possibly get on board with Love is so gay, Peace and Prosperity is so gay and Being strong and proud is so gay. But rainbows and puppy dogs and kittens? Not only do puppies and kittens have nothing to do with being gay, but those images aren't bound to sway teen boys who tend to avoid like the plague all things that can be considered "cute" and neurotically obsess over futile attempts to be seen as the macho men that they really aren't.

    Posted by: gregv | Nov 4, 2010 7:10:41 PM


  18. well I hope it wasn't concern about disrupting the educational process that prompted the banning of the shirt.
    I'm pretty damn sure that there's going to be disruption over this issue for some time to come.

    Dress codes are so randomly enforced and almost always up to the inconsistent judgement of tptb. Do schools still think ball caps are disrespectful and disruptive? These people are idiots before they even bring a political element to the table.

    Posted by: Shawn | Nov 5, 2010 5:23:26 PM


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