February 20, 2013 at 11:12 am EDT | by Chris Johnson
Million-dollar ad campaign to promote marriage equality
Gay News, Washington Blade, HIV/AIDS

Former First Lady Laura Bush is among the public figures in a new ad expressing support for marriage equality (Blade photo by Michael Key)

A new ad campaign has been launched promoting marriage equality that  showcases a bipartisan group of high-profile figures promoting the same message: “It’s time for marriage.”

The campaign — a project of the Respect for Marriage Coalition, a group of more than 80 groups led by the Human Rights Campaign and Freedom to Marry — consists of a 30-second TV ad featuring a number of public figures who’ve expressed support for same-sex marriage. The coalition has pledged to spend more than $1 million in the coming weeks to broadcast the ad on national TV.

The ad features clips from former first lady Laura Bush, former Secretary of State Colin Powell and former Vice President Dick Cheney. The final clip is from President Obama’s inaugural speech in which Obama says, “Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law.”

“None of us would want to be told we can’t marry the person we love,” says the voice over in the ad. “That’s why a growing majority of Americans believe it’s time to allow marriage for gay and lesbian couples.”

The voice over concludes at the end of the ad, “It’s time for marriage.”

According to the coalition, the ad will begin airing Wednesday on cable and is set to broadcast during national Sunday shows in the coming weeks. Full-page print versions of the ad featuring the same officials are set to run in major national newspapers – including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post – as well as online ads on top online news sites.

A news release from the coalition states, “Against the backdrop of President Obama’s historic comments about marriage rights in his inaugural address, freedom to marry legislation pending in a number of states, and two landmark marriage cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, the Coalition is working to grow support for marriage rights for same-sex couples across the nation.”

The TV ad is similar to another ad from HRC that began airing in November in which acclaimed actor Morgan Freeman says the Election Day results delivered a “mandate” for full equality for LGBT people.

The ad is running in the wake of the two national polls that made public on the previous day: one showing that 59 percent of the American public opposes Section 3 of DOMA, which prohibits federal benefits from flowing to same-sex couples, and another showing that 77 percent of the American public believe same-sex marriage will be made legal nationally regardless of their personal views within the next couple years.

Watch the ad here:

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

  • As a gay man who was with my partner for 26 years, I agree. I only wish my partner had lived long enough to see marriage equality! We were married in California before his death but no Federal benefits came my way. That's so un-just

  • It is time for full equality this needs to be the year of striking down DOMA and to have the opposition truly explain how when two people who are committed and are in love and want to publicly proclaim this should be ddenied this. It is time for the blinds to be opened the shroud taken down the closet doors be removed. Let this be the year. We a re taught that their is a season. Let this be the season for full equality in our personal and professional lives.

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