We had a fabulous weekend here in Santa Cruz, with the Dyke March on Saturday and today’s Gay Pride parade and festival. It was fun to see friends old and new, and gather the tribes for celebration and re-energizing. We’ve come so far…. and have so far yet to go before we see full equality.
When the California Supreme Court upheld Proposition 8, which retroactively denied gay and lesbian couples the right to marry, it was a blow to all who value separation of church and state, and equal treatment under the law for ALL citizens of the state. Sarah-Hope and I got married on the very first day we could, and while we are thankful that our marriage is still valid and legal, we are incensed that other people –people we’ve never met, people who have no idea who we are or what we value and believe– feel they have the right to vote on the validity of our relationship. And we were also incensed that the Supreme Court felt that it was perfectly ok for a popular vote to not only deny equal protection to a particular group of citizens, but to write it into the state Constitution as well. It is a very slippery slope, that.
As an artist, my first reaction upon hearing the news of the decision was to design something that could be used to help raise money for the fight to restore our right to marry. The first idea I had reflected the way I felt that day:
Having a sense of humor, my second design was much more tongue-in-cheek:
The photos within the lettering are icons of California: poppies, the Golden Gate bridge, palm trees in Los Angeles, the mission at San Luis Obispo, and Half Dome in Yosemite.
I also designed my own version of a classic pro-same-sex-marriage slogan, using the phrase “I do”:
I created a shop on Cafe Press last year, in order to promote my “serious” art. But during last November’s election, I created a political section, and now I’ve added these designs to it. I’ve also updated some of the designs I posted in November.
I am particularly fond of my Night of the Hunter design. (It is a fabulous movie; watch it if you haven’t seen it!)
I’m donating 50% of all profits from the sale of items with my “No on 8” designs on them (that is, all my pro-marriage, anti-discrimination designs). Please tell all your friends! Buy t-shirts, totes, magnets, stickers, and various other items. Share them with your loved ones. Share my Cafe Press address with anyone interested: http://www.cafepress.com/mswest
In the long run, we’ll win this fight. And in the meantime, William Shakespeare sums up what it’s all about: