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Apparel company gives UW-W t-shirts after hate crime

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Kevin Hoffman
October 23, 2010
— The apparel company that makes "Legalize Gay" T-shirts is reaching out to UW-Whitewater in the wake of an off-campus hate crime last month.

American Apparel shipped 500 of the shirts to the university, asking the student organization IMPACT to give them away to students who want them. The company also bought a one-page ad in the student publication, condemning the attack.


On Sept. 26, a freshman student wearing a "Legalize Gay" shirt was punched in the face and called a "faggot" by two men. Whitewater police continue to investigate the crime but do not have any suspects.


Student groups held a rally last week, bringing together hundreds of people who shared similar stories and urged others to join the fight against hate crimes. UW-Madison also took action, launching an anti-bullying campaign to support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students.


"American Apparel is a company that believes in freedom of expression and equal rights," the company said in a written statement.


"Despite the unfortunate event that triggered it, the immediate response of this young woman's fellow students to hold a campuswide rally as a show of unity was incredibly inspiring," it added.


The company wrote that its employees last year in Washington, D.C., received threatening phone calls and had their store window smashed for having the same shirt on display.



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