The first ad to make the case for marriage equality in Minnesota features a couple married for 59 years talking about the evolution of their own beliefs.
Yvonne Peterson says, "If someone had asked me if gay people should get married, I would have said no." Now as time has passed, and with a gay grandson, her views are different. "Love is love and it does belong to everybody."
Her husband, U.S. Marine Corps member Fred Peterson, says his marriage has been the happiest days of his life. "The world is changing," he said. "Gay and lesbian people want to get married for the same reason that I wanted to marry my wife. Why shouldn't other people be able to enjoy the happiness and the love that we've enjoyed through our lifetime?"
The ad, paid for by Freedom to Marry, will air in the Twin Cities and Duluth. Supporters of marriage equality have significantly outpaces opponents in fundraising and groups backing the proposed ban on same-sex unions have not yet aired any ads. Minnesotans United for All Families reports total fund-raising amounting to $5.4 million so far while the antigay Minnesota for Marriage has brought in $1.5 million.
"The Peterson family are like many in Minnesota right now," said Richard Carlbom, campaign manager for Minnesotans United for All Families. "They have been on a journey about how they feel about marriage for same-sex couples. And over time, they’ve come to the conclusion that same-sex couples want to marry for similar reasons to straight couples: to make a lifelong commitment to one another based on mutual love and responsibility."
That personal theme is being repeated in Minnesota but also in other states facing ballot issues. A question about marriage equality is on the November ballot in some form or another in Minnesota, Washington, Maryland and Maine.
Watch the commercial below.