Ross Murray, Director of Religion, Faith and Values at GLAAD
In Maine, Minnesota and Washington, recent television ads have prominently featured people of faith.
In Washington, where marriage equality passed through the legislature and was signed by the governor before marriage equality opponents petitioned to put the law on the ballot, Washington United for Marriage has released two television ads that prominently feature religious leaders of all stripes.
One ad focuses exclusively on Rev. Rich Lang, of the University Temple Methodist Church in Seattle, and his wife Cathy. Rev. Lang describes his shift from opposing marriage equality to understanding it as a result of his Christian faith. The couple has been married for 29 years and the pair are the parents of two sons.
The other features a variety of religious leaders from Washington state, outlining how approving Referendum 74 to keep marriage equality would protect religious freedom, allowing religions to marry couples according to their own beliefs. It ends with the simple statement, “We should protect religious freedom and allow all committed same-sex couples to marry. Referendum 74 does both”
In Maine, an ad by Mainers United for Marriage features Paul and Jeanette Rediker, who have been married for 42 years, and who say they were led to support the LGBT community by their priest, after their daughter came out to them.
In Minnesota, voters will be voting on whether or not to add an amendment to the state constitution to permanently keep marriage equality out of the state. The first ad from Minnesotans United for All Families, the campaign working to defeat the amendment, features a Republican Catholic suburban couple. The couple described how knowing a real LGBT person changed their perspective on marriage equality.
This couple describes the reality that people are more likely to support marriage equality after knowing and developing a relationship with a real LGBT person.