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Sometimes there is not much to say other than to get right to the point.  In the next few weeks, the people of California will decide if we will put Marriage Equality back on the ballot in 2010, or if we will allow Prop 8 to stand and ask the LGBT community to wait at least another two years for full equality.

We must deliver 1.2 Million signatures by April 12 if we are to return to the ballot.  And frankly, we are behind schedule.  If I could share a proven message that moves even Republicans on the subject of marriage equality would that inspire the support we need to make this happen?  A week ago Friday this ad was chosen by judges like George Stephanopoulos, Roger Stone, Chuck Todd, Christine Todd Whitman, Robert Traynham, Joe Trippi and more as the Best Television Ad for a Ballot Initiative at the Reed Awards, watch it now and then see what the focus group results were:

Does this messaging really work?

Yes! The focus group study of this ad by HCD Research reported the ad was considered effective by 83% of Democrats, 77% of Independents and 58% of Republicans. "Happiness" and "Inspiration" for both Democratic and Independent voters, were the most often reported reactions to the ad studied by HCD. Republicans reported feeling "Disturbed" (24%) with "Happiness" (20%) being a close second. Complete study details here.

More proof: The ad was featured in the January 18 cover story in the New Yorker Magazine which detailed the state of Marriage Equality efforts in America with a focus on the Federal case.  I am quoted on page 7 of the article, while on page 8 Glenn Kessler of HCD Research expands on just what those numbers in the study reveal:

This fall, the spot was tested by H.C.D., a New Jersey-based advertising-research firm, and Republicans were surprisingly receptive: fifty-five per cent of them called the ad "effective," even though only twenty-nine per cent of them supported gay marriage. Glenn Kessler, the head of research for H.C.D., told me, "That suggests a useful dissonance." The ad didn’t change many minds after one viewing, he noted, but the reaction "suggests that if you tell that kind of story over and over you could get some movement." Hedlund said, "TV allows us to have a silent conversation with people who may be having a conversation within themselves already. Maybe they have family in the room that they can’t even share their doubts with. And what we’re doing is giving them permission to have those doubts."

So here is the bottom line:  We are short on time, but not on hope.  I believe there is a massive untapped well of support for an effort to repeal prop 8 now, not in some distant future.  We need your help to build awareness for this campaign so we can tap into that support.  Nothing can inspire like the right cause and well founded belief that we will carry the day.  I believe that if you help us return to the ballot, we will execute a campaign based on messages like the video you just saw that will result in a "Yes" vote for equality, something never before done, and like the breaking of the four minute mile it will literally change the world.

Join us right now on the front lines of this vital effort.  We need to raise $25,000 by Sunday to put this ad on television.  Even a small buy here in California will send the clear message that we are running a serious campaign that will change hearts and minds.  A campaign that will Restore Equality in 2010.

A little more evidence? In response to the New Yorker article and image from our video, the National Review posted a four page response which Maggie Gallagher herself reposted on the NOM Blog.  What would inspire such an overt response, but the fear that we have hit upon the right message which will inspire voters to their better instincts and support of equality for all.

Will you help us spread this word?  Do not allow Prop 8 to stand one day longer.  You have the chance right now to help us air the most impactful television ad in support of Marriage Equality made to date.  Your contribution toward our $25,000 goal will help insure that Equality is restored in 2010.

After chipping in what you can share, please share this diary and video with others in support of equality and join us at Restore Equality 2010, come join the effort to gather signatures and ensure a place for equality on the ballot in California before another two years of injustice passes by.

Thank You for all that you do,

Eugene Hedlund
Campaign Manager
Restore Equality 2010

Originally posted to TruthandHope on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 10:30 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  They tried ads like this in ME (4+ / 0-)

    Tell me again how that worked?

    This needs to be decided in the courts.

    It's a lovely ad and I'm pulling for California to repeal Prop 8 on the ballot, but I'm pulling more for it to be overturned in Federal Court.

    BlackKos Tu/Fri. It could be worse for progressives. We could be in Port-au-Prince.

    by terrypinder on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 10:37:36 AM PST

    •  Actually (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      terrypinder, jimmypwood

      The ads aired in Maine we significantly softer in their message.  Better than California, but still not as clear and direct as this.  We offered use of this ad in Maine and it was rejected on the notion that they would win based on a message that Frank Schubert was based in California.  That was a fail.  Our campaign here will not be based on fear, will not hide the subjects of the cause and will feature real life stories in a frank and honest manner.

      Repeal Prop 8 and restore Equality:

      by TruthandHope on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 10:46:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This Messaging Is Not Like Maine (3+ / 0-)

      Maine didn’t give it their all. During the No on 1 Campaign in Maine, a Justice of the Peace in Louisiana denied a straight couple from getting married because they were biracial. I called the No on 1 campaign and emailed them to ask them to use it in one of their ads to show a real life situation on how discrimination starts with same-sex marriage and then leads to other types of discrimination. I was told no, because there "weren’t a lot of black people in Maine".

      When Obama gave a speech at the HRC dinner in DC, he made a statement saying that he doesn’t believe that people should be able to vote to take away rights from minorities. Again, I called and emailed the campaign and asked them to use that clip in their ads because Obama won the 2008 election in Maine by a landslide. Obviously people looked up to him. Again, I was told no, because "Obama is not from Maine and they wanted their campaign to be about real Mainers."

      Plus the Maine campaign was always on the defense. Every time they released an ad, it was in response to an ad that our opponents released. The No on 8 campaign made the same mistake. It’s time we get off the defense. It’s time to get on the OFFENSE. We need to get enough signatures so that equality is a YES vote. For the first time, WE will be the ones going to the ballot to fight for our equality. Let’s get this ad on the air so the other side has to respond to us for a change! Let’s start throwing the first punches. I’m definitely donating to get this ad on TV and I hope you all do too. What are the ingredients of a winning campaign? A good plan, a grassroots army, superb messaging, and being on the OFFENSE!

      •  No (0+ / 0-)

        Every time they released an ad, it was in response to an ad that our opponents released.

        The No on 8 campaign had ads out and running prior to the Yes on 8 campaign running their first ad.

        Or so I distinctly remember.

        •  I Waas Referring to Maine (0+ / 0-)

          I was referring to Maine, not California. To be honest the ads in CA do not compare at all. The ads in California were horrible and did not tell personal stories. Plus they hid the LGBT community in all of their ads except right before the election.

          •  Oops (0+ / 0-)

            I was referring to the Maine campaign.

            The No on 1 Maine campaign had ads out long before the Yes on 1 campaign aired ads.

            Or so I distinctly remember.

            •  Maine Was on the Defense... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              The ads they had out were about "Real Mainers protecting each other". Their first ads did not address the issues that everyone knew our opponents would bring up. They waited for the other side to bring up the controversial issues first. For example, the other side aired an ad that said schools would start teaching children about same-sex marriage. The No on 1 Campaign then responded with "We teach respect."

              We need to stop waiting for the other side to attack on with the controversial issues and we need to address it first.

              The great thing about the language being proposed to repeal Prop 8 says that religious leaders cannot be sued for denying to marry anyone. When I have approached religious people to get them to sign, the majority of them do it because they see the ballot language as securing their "religious protection."

              Religion - check

              Gay parenting - Check

              We're going to teach your kids about same-sex marriage - coming soon after we get it on the ballot. Let's get this ad on the air first so we can start getting the children ad done. It's a great way to get the ball rolling again!

      •  sure, but (0+ / 0-)

        I just don't have...hate to use the this will get the voters to vote against hate.

        BlackKos Tu/Fri. It could be worse for progressives. We could be in Port-au-Prince.

        by terrypinder on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 11:08:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Fight on the offense (0+ / 0-)

        I agree. We are always on the defense. Let's start fighting on the offense! Please donate to get this ad on the air!

    •  Well hey (0+ / 0-)

      Maine only lost by five points, just like California.  And California is bluer, more gay-friendly state.  

      Ah, hell, looks like we won't be able to make the touchdown after all, so even though we're in field goal range, lets just give the ball to the other guys.

      by cartwrightdale on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 11:14:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent ad. Using real people instead of..... (5+ / 0-)

    ...actors or spokespersons is wonderful. And having straight grandparents talk about how they DO now have grandkids that they love is terrific.

    •  Agreed (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      second gen, Eric Ross

      One of the most important things the movement can do, to be successful, is to tailor ads and outreach to straight voters, not gay voters.  Gays and Lesbians already support equal marriage rights by near-unanimous margins -- it's the other 92-95% of the population you need to speak to!  I really love this ad because it's from the perspective of a straight person who has gay family members or close friends, which according to Pew, goes up to 40% of the population right there.  Combine that with the ads ending " may not be the family we imagined, but it is the family we have, and love" and then you reach nearly everyone -- really, who has the family "they imagined"?  Even if you thought of homosexuality in a negative light, you'd certainly not deny the right of your cousin (who's a jerk) to get married, or your aunt (who's a drunk) to get married, or your niece (who took five different colleges just to get her bachelor's degree) to get married, etc.  Plus, I really really like that the ad has the balls not just to deal with gay marriage, but gay parenting.  Some campaigns want to hide that, to appeal to those who might be okay with gay marriage, but draw the line at gay adoption.  But this is a mistake, because if you pretend gay parenting isn't also in play, then you're tacitly agreeing that there's something wrong with gay parenting, which is on the bigot's mind anyway!  

      Ah, hell, looks like we won't be able to make the touchdown after all, so even though we're in field goal range, lets just give the ball to the other guys.

      by cartwrightdale on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 11:07:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I ♥ The Ad But Let's Be Honest (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CajunBoyLgb, jimmypwood

    Republicans in the survey are reacting to mere imagry of a christening.  They aren't capable of feeling any epiphanic experience of being wrong about gay people, none of them are.  Their brains are hard wired to hate from birth and they live in a fortress of reinforcement that prevents them from ever wonder if they could have misjudged.

    So let's not get too excited about one poll.

    •  I don't think their brains are "hard wired" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jpmassar, LGBTExaminer

      People are resistant to change, sure.  But studies show that your support for gay marriage is dramatically increased if you have a close friend or family member who is gay.  Even if you're a Republican.  (Take Meghan and Cindy McCain, for example.)  Generationally, young people tend to be "out", and older people tend to still be "in", so that's why you get something like 80% of young people having a gay friend and only 20% of old people having a gay friend.  Both young and old people almost certainly DO have the same percentage of gay friends, but the old people don't know it!  :)  That's also why support for gay marriage is not only high among young Democrats, but also young Republicans.

      Ah, hell, looks like we won't be able to make the touchdown after all, so even though we're in field goal range, lets just give the ball to the other guys.

      by cartwrightdale on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 11:10:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  But if you live in (0+ / 0-)

        a christian republican family ... any gay people are marginalized, closeted, they are the scarlet letter.  It's not like they're allowed to move from home to home changing tides.

        Yes...seeing the truth brings more truth.

        But there has to be a glimmer of it first.

        "This Space for Rent"

        by Detroit Mark on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 11:17:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Important Message regardless of circumstances (6+ / 0-)

    This is a great ad. No matter when you think Prop 8 can be repealed, airing this message brings that date closer.

  •  This is clearly gonna help (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jimmypwood, Eric Ross

    Every time bigoted people confront their bigotry they make a choice. Its gonna be really hard for moderates to cling to a party line after seeing this family.

  •  Why This Ad Works! (4+ / 0-)

    "It's not the family we had imagined, but it's the family we have and we love. I wouldn't change it for anything."

    Now tell me this, who in the world has the family they imagined? No one. There's always some crazy aunt, an alcoholic uncle, an overbearing mother, an aggressive father, a brother that won't share his toys, etc. There's always someone in every family that makes people wonder if it's possible they could have been adopted. Even though nobody's family is perfect, but we realize that strange person in the family is still family.

    Telling personal stories works! That’s why the Courage Campaign organizes Camp Courage across the state to get people to learn how to tell their stories. There are a lot more stories to tell so let’s get this ad on the air and start the conversations. I hope everyone donates at least $20 to get this ad on the air.

  •  The Maine campaign (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    demonstrated rather convincingly that it was not the messaging, nor the enthusiasm of the campaign staff and the volunteers, or the organziational acumen of the campaign, but the underlying beliefs and opinions of the voters (by a narrow but non-trivial margin) that prevented equal marriage rights from passing in both Maine and California.

    Changes in messaging, new and better ads, are not going to defeat the 'save our children' meme.

    Time and demographics are our best allies.  I hate to have to say it, but attempting to put the repeal on the 2010 ballot is very likely a big mistake.  It will sap efforts from a repeal attempt in 2012 that will have a very good chance of succeeding if the voters don't feel like 'enough, already!'.

    Yes, it sucks bigtime, but sometimes you just have to face reality.

    •  California is very Differerent Than Maine (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jpmassar, Eric Ross

      The margin of victory in CA was about the difference that a good campaign ad could change. Ads that Californians roundly agree were missing from the shy and cautious No on 8 campaign, can make the difference in 2010. The lies that yes on 8 told to win can't keep sticking. The ballot measure itself refutes the religious jeaopardy issue and the federal court is doing a great job of focusing the issue on equality.

      The federal courts may give us a victory at the 1st and 2nd stops, but NO ONE I KNOW thinks the US Supreme court will side with justice if we let the trial go to the end. Lets repeal it before they get a chance uphold discimination in state constitutions and set back LGBT rights for decades!

      •  Well (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The margin of victory in CA was about the difference that a good campaign ad could change.

        We can agree to disagree.  I suspect demographics will swing more votes than any ad a campaign to repeal Prop 8 can come up with.

        The lies that yes on 8 told to win can't keep sticking.

        Unfortunately, they can.  Because they are powerful.  They didn't run those ads just by chance.  THOSE ADS WORKED, and they knew it.  Proponents of same-sex marriage just don't have anything equivalent in their arsenal, as much as I would like to believe otherwise.

        •  Brigg's Initiative (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Demographics, yes. That's why we have a grassroots army that will micro-target the various demographics across California. Look back at history. the only time we have ever won at the ballot box for LGBT equality in California was against the Brigg's initiative when they tried to make it illegal for gays and lesbians to teach in schools. We started out with only 31% on our side and we still won! We didn't have "more time" to win that fight. We had a good plan, great messaging, and a strong grassroots movement. The No on 8 Campaign didn't have any of this. The new campaign has it all. Getting this ad on TV is the next step for marriage equality in California and it compliments the grassroots effort that is being done by Restore Equality 2010.  

    •  One Sided Conversations (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      @jpmassar – Time is not our best ally. Our opponents have shown that they don’t want to engage in dialogue. When we bring it up in California right now, our opponents say that we already voted on it so there’s nothing to talk about. They see it as ‘case closed.’ When we tried to get cameras in the Federal Court room, they blocked it. It’s obvious that the other side does not want to discuss the issue.

      The best way to win marriage equality, is to keep people engaged in conversations, and that cannot happen with a one sided conversation. Getting marriage equality back on the ballot in 2010 will force the other side to engage in conversations again. They will have to respond to our TV ads. They will have public debates on TV. People will be talking about it at the water coolers again. If we don’t go back to the ballot in 2010, we will be having one sided conversations for the next 2 years, and one sided conversations won’t change anyone’s mind.

  •  In terms of ads (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I think a direct attack on the 'save our children' meme is the best approach.

    For instance, listen to the testimony of one of the plaintiffs in the Prop 8 trial where she describes how it made her feel 'sick' and like she wanted to throw up when she heard those ads on TV implying that she was someone who the children had to be protected from.  (Day 1, Chapter 3 or 4)

    Something along those lines would make a powerful ad.

  •  I'm convinced (3+ / 0-)

    and donating $16, my coffee money for the week, who needs caffeine anyway.
    I wish your campaign well.

  •  Don't Give Up the Fight (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    A great ad and a good reminder that there are those of us in California who have not give up the fight.  We need equal rights now, not incremental change eventually.    

  •  Wow! we CAN win this here in CA this year. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TruthandHope, LGBTExaminer

    If an ad like this can get THAT many Republicans and "Indys" as well as Dems, Then CA is is SO ready this year to "kick" prop 8 into the trash can where it belongs! Gotta volunteer!

    •  Its in our fingertips (0+ / 0-)

      We are soo far ahead of No on 8, we have more people than they did 5 months before the 08 election. Gathering 1 million signatures is a good challenge though, and we are hoping for people who believe in the struggle for right to join the campaign, there are big events building up in many cities for Feb 20th, stay posted on to get plugged in.

  •  Excellent Ad (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This is exactly the type of ad that we need running in CA. People need to remember that we are NOT trying to sway voters who are staunchly opposed to marriage equality. Our appeal is to the movable middle. I applaud these efforts.

  •  Persuade 2 1/2% (0+ / 0-)

    You're right. We only need to persuade 2 1/2% of voters and that's in the movable middle. We don't need to persuade the people who are strongly against us. This video is perfect for what we need!

  •  It just takes a few bucks... (0+ / 0-)

    It just takes a few bucks to make a concrete change in the CA psyche, let the people see who's rights have been taken away.
    Help get this ad on air, it can only help the court case, the next campaign, and LGBT equal rights in general.
    It just takes a few bucks and its easy...

  •  Why do morals have to equal religion? (0+ / 0-)

    People are capable of being moral without religion and in this society by far the most moral people I know are not religious. As a matter of fact the most immoral people I know of are religious.

    •  Assuming (0+ / 0-)

      This is in reference to the portion of the ad where the Father says this and the video playing in that portion..  I hear this a lot, however I only hear it from people who already support equality.  First, it was the Father's words and the video was in relation to what he was actually saying.  It is not out place to put those words in his mouth or dictate his feelings.  Second, and far more important - this is a persuasive video - a video meant to relate to voters whose vote we do not have.  That is what a campaign does, build bridges to the voters we need.  In a campaign we have two choices: say what we want all the time, or say what will win the election.  I am tired of watching the far right win elections they should not because we have a need to preach our morality.  I'd rather win than prove how smart I am, because then I can have both.  

      And in this case, it is done with absolute integrity, as these words were not doctored or exaggerated.    

      Repeal Prop 8 and restore Equality:

      by TruthandHope on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 08:21:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think personally as far as video messaging is (0+ / 0-)

        concerned they are striving to put too much detail into the message.

        The audience we want to reach are used to sound bites repeated ad nauseam. Think Faux.

  •  DON'T GIVE UP!!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I wish the LGBT community would come together on this. Instead of just saying "we're not ready", get out there and do something! Seriously...waiting is BS!

  •  Wait to be equal (0+ / 0-)

    I agree. Why should anyone ever have to wait to be equal? If our leaders want us to wait more than 2 years to be equal, I think it's time we get new leaders. I'm glad that Restore Equality 2010 is stepping up to take the lead. I really hope people support them by donating to get this ad on the air. Otherwise, truly being equal seems like a distant dream. I'm tired of all hope and no action. Let's get it done!

  •  In what way is it Constitutional (0+ / 0-)

    to deny competent adults to enter into a contract?  

    Some have even tried to deny people, merely on the basis of their sex and intent, the right to enter into ANY contract that replicates or echoes ANY of the unstated-but-implied rights conferred by marriage, including contracts as basic as designating Power of Attorney.

    Even in the case of church weddings, the priest or preacher or so on states that "by the power vested in my by the state of [insert name of state where ceremony is being held], I now pronounce you [married]".  

    IOW, ALL marriages are "civil unions" in that they are which are contracts recognized by the civil government as contracts.  The addition of the religious element is a personal decision which has nothing whatsoever to do with the legal status of the contract; "sanctity" is not a legal term, nor does the state require any statement of intent before legal recognition of the contract will be granted.

    Statements such as 'marriage is only for raising children' are statements of personal belief and as such  are irrelevant to the legal standing of the contract; the implied contents of the contract only specify (and perhaps not even in all states) that, if one person enters into the marriage with the stated or implied understanding that the other person shares his or her wishes regarding children, a breach of contract occurs if said other person rejects that understanding.

    As for the supposed "threats to all traditional marriage" some claim are posed by a few thousand same-sex marriages, the only threats to traditional marriage are the same ones that have existed for many decades; marrying under false pretenses, marrying because of a guilt-inspired refusal to differentiate between love and sexual desire; marrying out of some need generated by one or another form of mental disorder; and all of the other age-old causes interpersonal friction.  the only difference between modern times, and some imagined 'golden age' of zero divorce, is that now, people are not forced by society or law to remain in an abusive, deficient, or otherwise-defective marriage.  

    Lastly, probably the stupidest anti-equality argument is that, if same-sex marriage is given legal status, traditional marriage will disappear because "everyone" or "almost everyone" is going to run off and marry a same-sex partner.  The "logic" of this is as non-existent as would be the "logic" of claiming immigration reform would instantly "turn everyone 'Mexican'".  IOW, the stupidity of it is so profound, and encompasses so many areas of nonsense, that it defies comprehension by anyone with an ounce of rational thinking ability.

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