Monday, October 12, 2009
This new ad from the NO on 1/Protect Maine Equality campaign implicitly addresses the involvement and influence of the Catholic Diocese of Maine in the effort to overturn the state's new marriage equality law. The ad features Catholic mother Yolande Dumont whose son and his partner have given her a grandson.
"Raymond and Ronnie are very special," Yolande says. "They have a beautiful home - a loving home. My grandchild, he's safe there, and they take good care of him."
An indirect way of saying that marriage equality does not harm children but actually is good for them.
"Isn't that what it's all about?" she asks.
And then the challenge to the audience who may be struggling with religion and how they should vote.
"I've been a Catholic all my life," she says. "My faith means a lot to me. Marriage to me is a great institution that works, and it's what I want for my children, too. I know the people of Maine will see that and will come through for us."
In the terms of message discipline, this new ad sticks to the NO on 1 campaign's message that marriage equality is about protecting families and fairness, and also indirectly addresses that it's not about religion or schools.
If you're wondering why the gay couple doesn't say anything, then you have to ask yourself who the target audience is. Are you reaching out to other LGBT individuals, or to straight people who are conflicted on how to vote because of their religion? Hearing from a Catholic mother who supports marriage equality speaks to the undecided that we need to reach - if it was solely the gay couple, the target audience probably wouldn't relate.
(See a similarly themed and widely praised ad by Truth and Hope.)
Does this mean gay and lesbian couples should never speak in ads? No, certainly not. Showing our faces and telling our stories is the number way of winning hearts and minds, though most effective in person. (Come out, come out, wherever you are!) I would like to see the NO on 1 campaign put out an ad in which we're featured and speak more. But in Maine, whose demographic is mostly white and many Catholic, this particular ad is directed at them.
View the most recent opposition ad. The opposition is now two ads behind because NO on 1 released this ad in response and now will have the new Catholic Mom ad airing beginning tonight or tomorrow morning.
Get involved. Go to the NO on 1/Protect Maine Equality website! Help keep this ad on the air and donate!