campaign aimed at warming Californians to the idea of
same-sex marriage will premiere during inauguration week in
Part of an effort
by the group GetToKnowMeFirst.org,
the five 30-second spots will run in both rural
and urban markets. The ads feature gay families
describing their experiences and urging their
neighbors to "get to know" them before judging them.
"Don't take my
family's rights away," plead Sonia and Gina, a lesbian
couple with two children, in one of the ads. "Get to know me
first. Our families may look different from yours, but we're
not. We need the same things ... like marriage ... so
we can protect and provide for our kids."
The hope is that
the commercials -- produced by POWER UP, a
nonprofit film organization based in Los Angeles
-- will change the voter sentiment that led to
the passage of Proposition 8, the November 2008 ballot
initiative that banned same-sex marriage in the state.
Although the voters have no say in the next decision to be
made in legalizing same-sex marriage in California --
the state supreme court will decide on Proposition 8's
constitutionality in March -- "it's important that ...
Californians see the faces of the real families that
are directly affected by the passage of Proposition 8," John
Ireland, GetToKnowMeFirst.org's founder, said in a
Robin Tyler and
Diane Olson, two of the original plaintiffs in the
marriage lawsuit that eventually led to the overturning of a
ban on same-sex marriage (which was later overturned
itself by Proposition 8), are featured in one of the
commercials. (Neal Broverman, Advocate.com)