Ad campaign asks, "What if it were a gay world and you were straight?"
A newly launched online ad campaign is asking the general public, "What if it were a gay world and you were straight?" Launched by the gay rights group Human Rights Campaign, the ads are designed to underscore the denial of hospital visitation rights to unmarried couples. "What if it were a gay world?" puts viewers in the shoes of a man barred from visiting his female partner in the hospital. "No American should ever have to experience being blocked from visiting their partner at the hospital room door," said HRC president Cheryl Jacques. "But without the right to marry, all too many couples have been denied this right. Sadly, there are some gay survivors who have even been robbed of the ability to say their final goodbyes to their partner. This ad shows the pain of a man who in a world where opposite-sex couples are unable to marry is confronted with this painful inequality."
"In discussions I've had with family and friends about marriage equality, it became clear to me that many nongay Americans take the legal protections of marriage for granted," said Amy Weber, who wrote, produced, and directed the ad. "I hope that when people see this ad, they'll understand that being married is about the love and commitment, but it's also about important legal protections afforded by the state."
Created for HRC's www.MillionforMarriage.org campaign, the ad is being used to encourage viewers to sign on to HRC's petition for marriage equality. As of March 1, more than 354,000 people had signed the petition. "This provides a great opportunity for us to broach the topic with our nongay family, friends, and coworkers," added Jacques. According to a recent HRC-commissioned poll by Harris Interactive, only 46% of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered respondents discuss public policy issues--like marriage--with their brothers and sisters, and only 32% with parents. "This is just the tip of the iceberg as far as rights to married couples are concerned," Jacques said. "There are more than 1,000 federal rights, benefits, and obligations afforded to married couples under federal law and hundreds of state protections."