Friday, October 26, 2012

Radio Ad Featuring Obama Promotes Question 6

Here is a transcript of a pro-Question 6 radio ad which Freedom to Marry is spending $100,000 to air in Maryland starting today. It features the audio of President Barack Obama endorsing marriage equality from May 2012
Two women discussing the election in a diner.  <diner SFX> 
Woman 1:  So who are you voting for for President? 
Woman 2:  (laughing) … Who do you think? 
Woman 1:  I know … but what about Question Six?  My Pastor says he’s ok with it, but I just don’t know… 
Woman 2:  I didn’t know either, but then I heard President Obama supported marriage for gay couples. 
Woman 1:  Really? 
Woman 2:  You haven’t heard him?  I’ve got the clip here on my phone… 
Woman 1:  You have that on your phone?!!?  (teasing) 
Woman 2:  Yes!  It’s THAT important…listen up:
Obama Clip: “Same-sex couples should be able to get married.  I had hesitated on gay marriage because I thought civil unions would be sufficient … You know, Malia and Sasha, they’ve got friends whose parents are same-sex couples, it wouldn’t dawn on them that their friends’ parents would be treated differently.  That’s the kind of thing that prompts a change of perspective.  When we think about our faith, it’s also the golden rule…” 
Woman 1:  That is SO true...  
Woman 2:  Isn’t it though?  I’d always kinda been on the fence, but Obama makes it so simple: it’s about fairness – treating everyone equal under the law. 
Woman 1:  Well, if that’s what a vote for Question Six means, I’m fired up and ready to go!
This ad is airing just as the word is spreading that Obama-Biden 2012 has endorsed the Yes position on Question 6. Hopefully this will give the campaign to defend Maryland's marriage equality law at the ballot the boost it needs to be victorious on election day. 

What is very important about this ad is that it is a direct appeal to African-American voters, by the most prominent and respected African-American politician in the country. This is an excellent about face from Freedom to Marry, which initially refused to include Maryland in its list of states where it was focused on winning the freedom to marry in 2012. At the time, many people speculated if the reason Freedom to Marry was abandoning Maryland was the racial make-up of the state, which is 30% African American.

There was some belief that because African Americans are more religious than other groups and the leadership and decision-makers in most LGBT orgs are white, that it would be more difficult to fight to defend marriage equality in Maryland at the ballot box. 

Maryland may still fail to pass Question 6, but at least the fight has been engaged and the divide between LGBT activists and African-Americans has been narrowed. One result of this activity is that the support in the African-American community for marriage equality in Maryland is now 42%, in a recent poll (with 53% opposing).

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