The Seattle Times is really going all in on support for approving Referendum 74, the ballot initative that would affirm the right to same-sex marriage in Washington state. They announce in an op-ed today:
Do you support same-sex marriage? Join The Seattle Times editorial board's social media campaign to approve Referendum 74 on the Nov. 6 ballot.They are asking people to clip out the sign, hold it up, take a picture and post it to a Seattle Times Facebook wall here. They are also pushing a hashtag on Twitter: #IDo74.
In your Sunday Seattle Times newspaper on Sept. 16, turn to the opinion section. Look for the sign that looks like this:
It seem very unusual though for a media outlet to launch an entire social media campaign around actively lobbying people to vote a certain way on an issue.
Of course, I'm grateful and happy to see it. It can only build momentum for a measure that is enjoying super-majority support. The latest Survey USA poll shows Washingtonians support it by 56 percent, versus 38 percent for opposition.
It is interesting that any big company would choose to attach their own branding so intimately with a gay and lesbian issue. Some months ago National Organization for Marriage (NOM) reacted to Starbuck's endorsement of marriage equality in Washington by launching its Dump Starbucks boycott campaign. It has yet to gather 50,000 signers (worldwide), while the response campaign thanking Starbucks has gathered more than 650,000 signatures. Pretty much all the major Washington employers and brands from REI, Microsoft, Alcoa and others have followed suit expressing support for the bill.
It really shows how badly National Organization for Marriage's attempt to bully companies into silence on the issue of marriage equality has failed. Nobody is afraid of NOM.
I'm sure that the Seattle Times staff is largely supportive of the measure. It does seem this is the indicative of the rise of two movements, support for LGBT issues, and the rise of social media to push a brand. If elections were fought on Facebook and Twitter it seems pretty clear we'd have universal marriage equality in the USA. The older, rural demographics of the typical opposition can't compete with the masses of younger, urban folks that marriage equality appeals to.
So it makes perfect sense for the Seattle Times to attempt to ride that demographic wave to get their branding out there and get people talking about the Seattle Times. Looks like a win-win for them, and us.
The coalition in support of marriage equality, Washington United for Marriage, is up on the air with a new television ad this week. Repeated focus group polling has show ally ads featuring family, such as this one, have been very effective persuasive messaging.