One high-profile U.S. clothing retailer is making its stance on same-sex marriage known across the pond.
American Apparel will reportedly be giving away 10,000 of its popular "Legalize Gay" T-shirts in its stores and on the streets of Paris in support of France's embattled marriage equality bill. The T-shirts were originally created in 2008 in an effort to combat Prop 8, California's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage.
"In America the foundation of our civil rights are written as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness -- in France it is liberty, equality, fraternity," Dov Charney, founder and CEO of American Apparel, is quoted as saying in a press release. "Our company believes that those creeds by our founding fathers join us in an obligation to fight for freedom and fairness. Both the French and American people have a shared tradition of the pursuit of justice and we are proud to use our company's resources and give our support to this important fight."
Marriage equality has been in the French headlines frequently as of late. Though French President Francois Hollande has expressed his support for both marriage equality and adoption rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) couples during his campaign, the effort has been met with resistance among some in the traditionally Catholic country.
As the Associated Press reported last month, the most vocal opposition to same-sex marriage is coming from the country's rural regions, where some lawmakers have been campaigning for a "conscience clause," which would allow mayors the right to deny same-sex couples the right to wed.
Among those to denounce the opposition was the country's former first lady. "I'm rather in favor because I have a lot of friends –- men and women –- who are in this situation and I see nothing unstable or perverse in families with gay parents," Carla Bruni is quoted as saying, in spite of the fact that her conservative husband Nicolas Sarkozy has been a longstanding opponent of gay marriage.