Prop H8 and ShiftSpace Intervention

California recently voted to uphold Proposition 8, banning legal marriage between gay couples. Thousands of people who opposed the bill voiced their frustration in a series of public protests around the country. As reported in the New York Times, opponents of the bill are disturbed to find that for same-sex couples outsider status would be forever “enshrined in our Constitution.”

Alan Van Capelle, executive director of Empire State Pride Agenda, said in a statement to the New York Times:

“Today’s ruling from the California Supreme Court missed an opportunity to do what courts are supposed to do and that is to make sure that all people are treated equally under the law.”

Amidst all the public protests in the streets, a ShiftSpace user took his protest to the web. Erich Blackhound announced on Twitter that he had replaced the banners on the Prop 8 website with his own graphic:


His act of political intervention, sparked a discussion on BoingBoing and illustrated a core aspect of the ShiftSpace design; that in light of the web ShiftSpace can serve as a public platform and function in subversive and meaningful ways; whether for social critique or involvement in political action, or interaction in the shaping of information.

As one of the ShiftSpace founders, Mushon Zer-Aviv says: “Today we live not only in geographical space, but also in information spaces that define our perception of the world and our private and public identity.”

Now, if only we can all “shift” the Constitution to give equal rights to all citizens…


photo from Steve Rhodes, via Flickr


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