August 16, 2012
By Jacob Combs
Freedom to Marry, the national marriage equality advocacy group that earlier this year urged members to put pressure on the Democratic Party to add language about equality marriage rights to the party’s platform, has released its first ad of the election season. The TV spot, titled “Grandparents,” is airing in Minnesota, where a constitutional amendment with the title “Limiting the Status of Marriage to Opposite Sex Couples” will ask voters this November to explicitly ban marriage equality in the state.
In the ad, which will air in Duluth, Minneapolis and St. Paul, Duluth couple Yvonne and Fred Peterson explain how their views on marriage equality have changed over the course of their own 53-year marriage. Yvonne wasn’t always for marriage equality–in the ad she says that in the past, “if someone had asked me if gay people should get married, I would have said no”–but as Fred points out, “the world is changing.”
According to a report by Minnesota Public Radio, the mid-six figures ad buy will run for several weeks. Although the ad makes no explicit mention of the fact, the Petersons have a gay grandson, as Freedom to Marry noted in a press release. From the Minnesota Public Radio piece:
To John Aldrich, a political science professor at Duke University, it’s noteworthy that the first advertisement features older, straight, grandparents from greater Minnesota.
“Ten years ago, you wouldn’t have seen an ad like that. It may not have even been possible to find — except for professional actors acting professionally. You couldn’t find people in the street to have played that kind of a role,” Aldrich said.
He said reaching older, blue collar voters is what the VOTE NO campaign needs to tip toward majority support and defeat the amendment.
As the piece notes, opponents of the constitutional amendment have far outraised its supporters, and now enjoy a $4 million cash advantage. You can watch the ad in its entierty below.