has sued gay group the Courage Campaign for copyright infringement of their logo.

The Courage Campaign says its logo for the website is a parody of's original logo. The original logo shows a stick figure heterosexual couple with two children. The redesigned logo substitutes a lesbian couple and alters the text.

But, the primary sponsor of Proposition 8, the gay marriage ban approved by California voters in 2008, was not amused by the clever redesign. In a January 12 cease and desist letter, demanded the group stop use of the redesigned logo. A formal lawsuit that accuses the Courage Campaign of trademark infringement and unfair competition was filed on January 19 after the group ignored the original demand letter.

The Courage Campaign is using the parody logo on a website that follows the historic federal trial of Proposition 8 now in its second week in a San Francisco courtroom.

On Wednesday, Judge Lawrence K. Karlton denied's motion for a temporary restraining order prior to a full ruling.

Karlton disagreed with plaintiffs, who said use of the logo was likely to “result in confusion, mistake, or deception to visitors of their respective sites as to the source of origin of its services,” saying “the use is not explicitly misleading.”

“In this case, the logo itself is artistic,” Karlton said in his ruling. “Moreover, the broader website, while perhaps not artistic, is undeniably expressive of a political idea, and both political and artistic expression are protected by the First Amendment.”

“Defendant's use of the mark has relevance to the expressive message, namely, support for homosexual marriages, and specifically, opposition to recent California efforts to limit the right to such marriages. This support is expressed by the modification of the 'father' figure in the original mark to depict a second 'mother'.”

A January 20 blog entry at the Courage Campaign website called the lawsuit “entertaining.”

“We continue to be entertained by the Prop 8 attorneys simultaneously admitting that the two images of gay parents and straight parents are 'substantially indistinguishable', and yet failing to grasp that the difference between the logos illuminates the core difference between their views and ours.”