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The Wedding Matters: Which PSA should we air around the Prop 8 trial?

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by Adam Bink

When Judge Walker’s decision came down, I had a number of friends come to me and lament  that it felt like they were powerless to help our side in this court case, that all they could do was cross their fingers and hope for the best. I wrote here at Prop 8 Trial Tracker:

I don’t think that’s true at all. As my colleague Evan Wolfson at Freedom to Marry likes to say, the best thing to do is to use every moment between now and the 9th Circuit hearing, and a potential Supreme Court hearing, to win more states and move public opinion in order to create a climate and momentum that will maximize our chances. And there are lots of things we can all do to create that kind of environment, from talking to friends/family/colleagues to calling into radio shows and writing on a blog or in a newspaper to getting involved with electing candidates who will support marriage, like in the New York State Senate, where we are closer than ever to a win on enacting the freedom to marry in my home state. We all play a role, however small.

Today, we need your help to find a way to move public opinion, and create that “climate”.

Earlier this year, Courage Campaign Institute’s Entertainment Industry Equality Team has been working on “The Wedding Matters” project– 38 videos about the meaning of marriage equality, produced by 119 volunteers in one day on a budget of just $1,600.

We’ve been waiting for the right time to release these videos. With all the attention to the trial, and Judge Walker’s decision on the stay coming down any moment, now is the time.

We’re going to air one of these videos across the state of California and the country as a 60-second Public Service Announcement. And we need you to help us select which of the four videos in the first round should be edited and aired as a 60-second ad. Click here to view the videos and vote.

I’ve also included them here. Here’s the first, Xavier and Michael, married October 18, 2008:


Felicia and Liz, married October 4, 2008:


Click here to vote on which one of the four in the first round should be edited into a 60-second PSA. You can also view an in-depth “Making of The Wedding Matters” video.

If you like “The Wedding Matters” videos, please share the link above with your friends on Facebook.

We can do something to help win this case. Together, we will move public opinion to create that climate and momentum to maximize our chances going forward. Vote today.


  • 1. Lesbians Love Boies  |  August 12, 2010 at 12:21 am


  • 2. Ķĭŗîļĺę&  |  August 12, 2010 at 12:24 am


  • 3. Lesbians Love Boies  |  August 12, 2010 at 12:26 am

    second attempt

  • 4. Lesbians Love Boies  |  August 12, 2010 at 12:28 am

    Did you get your confirm subscription email ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ?

  • 5. Alan E.  |  August 12, 2010 at 12:45 am

    Check your spam box. That happened to me before.

  • 6. James Tuttle  |  August 12, 2010 at 12:45 am

    These are so nice.

  • 7. Ķĭŗîļĺę&  |  August 12, 2010 at 12:46 am

    I am always logged in as a user, so I don't need to confirm my subscriptions, ever. And I never have problems with subscriptions like you, guys, have them here from time to time. Consider signing up for a wordpress account.

  • 8. Andrew  |  August 12, 2010 at 12:50 am

    I posted this link on the last topic as OT, but it fits much better here. I saw an ad for Mormonism which basically introduces a girl as a surfer in Hawaii. The ad has the girl spending a few minutes talking about her passion and at the end of the video, she states "I am a professional surfer and I am a Mormon." Knowing the public's lack of knowledge about true Mormons, I found this to be a great way to show how normal Mormons are. I think something similar to this where a gay man or lesbian talks about something they love doing which the public can relate to would help break down the barrier of "us vs. them" which seems to be the biggest wall to break.

    Here's the video.

  • 9. Bolt  |  August 12, 2010 at 12:55 am

    Is the HRC relevant in this matter? Do they have any power?

    Obama should take these legal victories and amplify them for us. It would be the right thing to do.

  • 10. DChomo  |  August 12, 2010 at 12:56 am

    next time, lets get more attractive people to appeal to everybody. No offense to anyone, and i loved the stories…but seriously- from a marketing perspective- get attractive people to appeal to a bigger audience. No one wants to see unattractive people marry. gay or str8 #justsayin

  • 11. Ann S.  |  August 12, 2010 at 12:57 am


  • 12. AndrewPDX  |  August 12, 2010 at 12:59 am

    Cool… I can't wait unti I get home tonite o see the videos (don't have access @ work)

    Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

  • 13. Sagesse  |  August 12, 2010 at 1:01 am

    Subscribing, then viewing. Will help to pass the time till the stay decision comes.

  • 14. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 12, 2010 at 1:03 am

    I will definitely be voting on the PSA in a short while.

  • 15. Kathleen  |  August 12, 2010 at 1:07 am

    drinking coffee, wakin' up and scribin'

  • 16. JuliaL  |  August 12, 2010 at 1:13 am

    Just an opinion:

    It won't be easy to appeal to most people where I live, but it's certainly worth trying. As an older straight woman living in a very conservative state, I think that the Barry Wally video is the only one likely to draw positive response here. People would sympathize with the elderly man, and the photos give the feeling of "This family looks a lot like mine."

    The video with the young woman with the stud in her lip describing her mother's objections may create further negative response as people are likely to say that the whole business of the wedding was indeed very sad, and they can certainly identify with the mother's feelings. The other two, if either is the first one that is aired, are likely not to be taken seriously and instead seen as just examples of odd people who maybe should have civil unions but not marriage.

    I deeply appreciate this website. Though I haven't commented before, I've come here frequently all through the trial and after. I think Judge Walker was exactly correct in indicating that the real change in the definition of marriage came when it went from being a contract in which a woman's rights were absorbed by her husband to being a contract of equals in which gender no longer determined rights.

    I look forward to the time when gay people are recognized as having all the same civil rights as everyone else, and when churches (and other religious groups) that want to recognize gay marriage are not discriminated against in favor of religious groups that want to deny that right.

  • 17. Kathleen  |  August 12, 2010 at 1:24 am

    JuliaL, thank you so much for your contribution to the discussion and for being an ally.

    I think it's very important to listen to voices such as yours when making decisions about how best to conduct the 'hearts and minds' campaign in various regions. It is sometimes difficult for those of us who are in the trenches in this fight to get a clear read on how some messages come across, particularly in more socially conservative parts of the country.

    So glad you dropped by and hope you'll continue to comment.

  • 18. Ronnie  |  August 12, 2010 at 1:25 am

    I concur…..<3…Ronnie

  • 19. AndrewPDX  |  August 12, 2010 at 1:28 am

    Welcome, JuliaL!
    I haven't yet seen any of the vids (blocked at work), but from the captions alone, I would have to vote for Barry Wally's video too.

    Byt someone posted a link yesterday, i believe it was, about a little girltalking about lettering her parents get married. The Prop8 defenders like NOM keep going on and on about the children, so I think it would be best to have the children of same-sex parents do the speaking. Are there any such videos at the main voting site?

    Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

  • 20. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 12, 2010 at 1:34 am

    Interesting comments Julia :) I liked them all and feel love and joy for the people represented in the videos…unlike videos for prop 8 that hired actors…these are REAL people, with real lives!

    I was torn which one to vote for ended up voting for Xavier and Michael. I favor people celebrating rather than mourning what they missed, don't have.

    I did not attend my oldest daughter's wedding because my partner was not invited. I do not regret that decision…though because of that decision, I have yet to meet my dear little granddaughter born in May. Many have told me, including my Father, that I should have gone anyway. I disagree, if we do not take our relationships, our love, our lives seriously who will?

    Love to all!


    p.s. I'm having fun searching the web for best ways to get married in CA!!!!! hoping for positive outcome today!

  • 21. fiona64  |  August 12, 2010 at 1:34 am

    Or, I have an idea! Let's get some stock photos of attractive gay "couples" and pretend they're married. Let's put pictures of them on a bus, even!

    C'mon. Not everyone is a supermodel, and I think we all know that. I'd rather see real people, warts and all.

    BTW, when you say "no offense to anyone" and then say something offensive? You knew right from jump street that you were going to cause offense and just wanted a way to excuse yourself.

    Fiona (who is crotchety after her business trip and flight delays)

  • 22. Ann S.  |  August 12, 2010 at 1:36 am

    OT, but there is a new DADT lawsuit in Idaho:

    What happened with the one in Riverside, California? That one sure didn't get much coverage.

  • 23. ZHunter  |  August 12, 2010 at 1:38 am

    Are there 34 more videos coming? No offense, I thought they were all pretty good, but I didn't see one that I thought was good for airing.
    The first one wasn't very moving, especially what the kid had to say.
    The second one seemed more too focused on the wife missing the wedding and not enough on why the wedding actually mattered.
    The third was the most emotionally moving but I think the previous commenter articulated what I didn't like about it.
    If I had to vote for one, I'd go with the fourth, which I thought was going well. However when the guy said "because when suddenly after you get married, it's completely different, your life is completely different forever" it almost sounded sarcastic. Mention how?

  • 24. Scott  |  August 12, 2010 at 1:38 am

    I really like the Barry Wally video. That's going to resonate with older straight voters … like my grandparents. It's from the point of view of the parent, so it really gives them someone to identify with. It's a very touching, humanizing video.

    For the 60-second version, I would edit out much of the death talk. At first I was confused whether he was talking about his wife or his daughter and it's just unnecessarily depressing (especially given your target audience!). I don't know if you need more than that last sentence about how if she were alive, it would be the happiest day of her life.

    Great work all around, though. The Xavier and Michael spot would make for some good outreach to the black community, which we really need. Maybe some smaller, targeted ad buys?

  • 25. Alan E.  |  August 12, 2010 at 1:41 am

    I would just like to say that I am now 100% caught up on every single comment. Now that I have a lot of work to do, I will have a lot of reading to do on the way home (my husband doesn't like me reading it at home so I can spend time with him; I was cooking a lot last night, so it gave me a lot of time in between to get caught up).

  • 26. Kathleen  |  August 12, 2010 at 1:45 am

    The testimony phase is over. Waiting judge's decision. The transcripts are at the LCR's website. Too obsessed right now to find it – let me know if you need a link. Also, JonT reported some of the interested bits from the transcripts on his blog (click on his name for the site). Again, will find it later if you want.

  • 27. Sagesse  |  August 12, 2010 at 1:50 am

    The evidence has been presented in the Riverside case, awaiting the decision. No, it didn't get much coverage. I read the transcripts, but there are technical issues I don't understand, and for me they got in the way of understanding how 'good' the case is. The plaintiffs' evidence was persuasive and well presented.

    I'm glad someone is taking up Fehrenbach's (sp?) case. His circumstances are similar to Mike Almy. A high ranking career officer doing his job who was outed because of circumstances beyond his control.

  • 28. ElsieH  |  August 12, 2010 at 1:51 am

    I like the Xavier and Michael video. I think it addresses many of the issues that the anti-equality side like to fling around. It addresses choice, God and family. It was also a very traditional wedding and makes them very mainstream.

    The Barry one is very effective as well but the one draw back is that its hard to hear what he is saying.

    I concur with a previous poster about Liz and Felicia. The stud in her lip and a wedding on the beach would turn the older crowd off I think (I'm in my 50's).

    Matt and Sean are just plain sweet! But because it doesn't involve family it could reinforce the other side's view that LGBT people wanting to get married are self-indulgent .

  • 29. Kathleen  |  August 12, 2010 at 1:54 am

    Just got word that the people who brought us the trial reinactments at will be bringing us a live webcast of the decision on the stay. The decision will be read by Ted Heyck (who portrays Judge Walker).

  • 30. bb  |  August 12, 2010 at 1:54 am

    Andrew, I agree with your logic. Especailly if a child or children are part of a family who had a tradgic situation happen. And only if their parents were married, could the tradgity been alleviated. What occured to the couple in Florida comes to mind.

    I can't view the clips either (filters at work), but I would almost guarantee that if you pull at the heart-strings of folks, we might melt harden hearts.

    Just a thought.

  • 31. Alan E.  |  August 12, 2010 at 1:54 am

    Did you get it?

  • 32. Lesbians Love Boies  |  August 12, 2010 at 1:57 am

    yes, thank you. Don't know why sometime starting at 3am this morning all emails from the trial tracker started going into the spam folder.

  • 33. ElsieH  |  August 12, 2010 at 2:00 am

    A quick qualifier about self-indulgence. I want to make clear that I don't think that, but that I've heard the argument from the other side. I've been married for over 20 years and have no children by choice so I've personally heard it about my own marriage.

  • 34. Lesbians Love Boies  |  August 12, 2010 at 2:07 am

    Here is the teeney weeney gathering of the yes on 8 folks…they never can seem to draw a crowd can they?

  • 35. James Tuttle  |  August 12, 2010 at 2:08 am

    Congratulations on staying true to your resolve. That must have taken a lot of courage and I have every faith that one day your daughter will realize how much you and your partner need to be a part of hers and her families lives no matter what the past held. xo

  • 36. Kathleen  |  August 12, 2010 at 2:09 am

    Where is this?

  • 37. Anonygrl  |  August 12, 2010 at 2:11 am

    It is a very GOOD thought, August…

  • 38. Ronnie  |  August 12, 2010 at 2:13 am

    Oh look a sign that says "pervert"…because that is not a hateful word (sarcasm)….facepalms…. : / ….Ronnie

  • 39. Lesbians Love Boies  |  August 12, 2010 at 2:17 am

    Wow, twitters are tweeting faster than I can read. #prop8 has exploded…

  • 40. Ann S.  |  August 12, 2010 at 2:17 am

    Looks to me like SF City Hall. Odd, that, since the ruling will be issued at the federal building — I think?

  • 41. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 12, 2010 at 2:19 am

    Thanks James :)

  • 42. Sagesse  |  August 12, 2010 at 2:19 am

    These are all good stories. My criteria for choosing the best ad have to do with having a clean, precise message, and having an emphasis on the families being raised by these couples. The biggest public education gap, in my view is that the number of gay and lesbian couples raising children has not registered with the general public. This message directly counters the 'protect the children' meme.

    So. My first choice is Xavier and Michael, because the message is clear… their wedding was a joyful, happy family occasion… and because they have grown children, in college. Little ones are great, of course, but the skeptics can always wonder about how they will turn out and whether they have somehow been indoctrinated.

    Second choice is Barry Wally, because he is so obviously an accepting parent. This couple also has a child. The fact that Barry's wife passed away and could not be there is a poignant touch, but can be edited so it is not a central message.

    Felicia and Liz would be my fourth choice. Theirs is a very powerful message, but it is a mixed message because of the rift in one of the women's families. The two little girls are adorable, but they're not mentioned. Use this one to deliver a different message.

    And my third choice would be Matt and Sean. Theirs is also a wonderful story, but they do not have kids.

    Again, all great stories, just commenting on the 'communication value' for the first two ads.

  • 43. Kathleen  |  August 12, 2010 at 2:20 am

    Maybe they're anticipating the marriages that will take place today?

  • 44. Kathleen  |  August 12, 2010 at 2:21 am

    If that's the case, we need those angels w/their giant wings that block the WBC's signs at funerals to block out these peoples' hateful messages.

  • 45. Mark M (Seattle)  |  August 12, 2010 at 2:21 am

    WOW! I can not believe you posted that!
    Attractive is VERY subjective…what and who you think attractive will not be the same for others.
    I am shocked by the insensativity of your post….WOW!

  • 46. Juli  |  August 12, 2010 at 2:22 am

    Who relates to pretty people? Maybe other pretty people do, but most of us are in the realm of average. Besides, I didn't at all think that that any of the couples in the videos were unattractive, on the contrary, I thought they were all sweet. Maybe it's a weight thing for you? It's a terrible gay stereotype to be that looks-oriented, and to judge others on that basis. The word for that is shallow.

  • 47. Lesbians Love Boies  |  August 12, 2010 at 2:22 am

    I think its SF city hall

    here is the flicker images from San Francisco Appeal

  • 48. Lesbians Love Boies  |  August 12, 2010 at 2:27 am

  • 49. Anonygrl  |  August 12, 2010 at 2:29 am

    PLEASE help out folks at work who can't see pictures…. little description??? Please? :)

  • 50. Anonygrl  |  August 12, 2010 at 2:29 am

    What is it??

  • 51. Ann S.  |  August 12, 2010 at 2:30 am

    @Kathleen, maybe so.

    How's that go?

    Something borrowed,
    Something blue,
    Something hateful . . .

    No, I don't think that was quite it.

  • 52. Dpeck  |  August 12, 2010 at 2:31 am


    If today is anything like two years ago there will be no need. These people were kept far away from City Hall once things started to happen and soon left, and the entire area was just a huge wonderul celebration. When one of those people tried to get into the building with an anti-marriage sign he was literally chased out by police.

  • 53. Kathleen  |  August 12, 2010 at 2:31 am

    Posted this in the other thread – I'm watching the email notification list from the Court. I'm sure there are plenty of people watching the Court's website. I hope others are scouring other sources to watch for the news. When the decision came out, it was independent news sources that first got it online.

  • 54. Lesbians Love Boies  |  August 12, 2010 at 2:32 am

    funny cartoon animation on activist judges..while you wait for today's decision…

  • 55. Kathleen  |  August 12, 2010 at 2:33 am

    So glad to hear it!!

  • 56. Anonygrl  |  August 12, 2010 at 2:35 am

    Thanks. I just get anxious that someone is going to post a "WE WON, IT IS ALL OVER YAHOO US!" picture, then everyone on the internet is going to go out and celebrate, and I will be left in my office going "errr… what?"

    Silly, but there it is. :)

  • 57. Anonygrl  |  August 12, 2010 at 2:36 am

    Plus I am going into a meeting at 1 (10 on the west coast) so am probably going to miss the moment anyway, darn it.

  • 58. Straight Grandmother  |  August 12, 2010 at 2:39 am


    Out of consideration for the people who have very generously put themselves and their family out there, on behalf of the cause, I think it would be appropriate to use the Comments Form for any "negative" type critiquing.

    Let's try to keep our public comments positive and appreciative of the people who have done this for us.

    With that in mind, my first vote is for Xavier and Michael as they show a Traditional Wedding, we are trying to reach traditional OS families. They also talk about their children and liked the fact that some of their kid(s) plural- were in college. They were also their with their younger daughter so this ad appeals to OS parents of both younger childrenn and older children.

    My second vote is for the older man, but the video should be re-mixed. It should have him and his daughter and daughter in law on the couch together. This also portrays a more traditional wedding. This family also has a child in it. Showing children of GLBT people are a bug PLUS so they will always rate higher.

    I next rate the two lesbians, the one iwth the piercing and the two gays with no children about equal in effect.

    Many thanks to everyone, I sincerely appreciate your time and effort putting yourself out there for the cause. Everyone's videos touched me, each and every one. Some videos I think will work better to attract hetrosexual people to our cause is all, it is not that your video is under appreciated by me. I liked them ALL and I am only thinking of the target audience whith my voting.

  • 59. Alan E.  |  August 12, 2010 at 2:39 am

    He's still the "real" Judge Walker to me. It was weird to see him in the overflow courtroom during the closing arguments and not on the TV where he was supposed to be.

  • 60. Straight Grandmother  |  August 12, 2010 at 2:48 am

    OMG Big correction, When you go to vote, on that webpage, there is an area for you to add your comment. That is what I meant by, if you felt you should add a negaitve comment, leave it over there in comments where it is not published.

    Not here on this blog in Comments.

  • 61. LD  |  August 12, 2010 at 2:55 am

    I couldn't agree more. If the point of the PSA is to change minds (i.e, the minds of those who do not already support same-sex marriage), it is important to feature someone they can relate to.

    Someone made a comment about featuring a video that celebrates rather than laments on what is missing. But isn't that the point of this entire movement? Something is missing: federally recognized marriage.

    I think the Barry Wally video could be even better if he talked not just about being happy for his daughter, but being afraid for her due to the lack of legal protection her relationship and her daughter have, and how necessary that protection is to their happiness and security.

    I don't mean offense to the couples featured in the other two videos. I just mean that if this is a PSA geared at straight people who aren't allies (yet), the video featuring a mainstream-seeming, straight, older man would be the easiest pill to swallow.

  • 62. Trish  |  August 12, 2010 at 2:56 am


  • 63. Anna Bryan  |  August 12, 2010 at 2:57 am

    I'm gay, and some of these kind of freak me out. I can't even imaging what they would do to right wing conservatives that have never met a gay couple.

    Maybe Courage Campaign needs to tone down some of the courage?

  • 64. Alan E.  |  August 12, 2010 at 3:05 am

    Actually, DChomo is right when it comes to advertising. It sucks to be honest about it, but the general public do respond more positively to advertising that features people who are closer to the "attractive" side of the spectrum than "unattractive." Yes, there is a lot of subjectivity to this, but there are also a lot of standards within the advertising industry about which aspects of attractiveness draw more appeal.

  • 65. Nathan  |  August 12, 2010 at 3:07 am

    I also voted for the Barry Wally video for those reasons Julia. I feel like parents and older people in general are the main demographics we should focus on. This video shows that we are not a threat. Instead, it shows that we are people's kids and grandkids. All we are looking for is happiness, which every good parent wants for his/her child.

    Although I think ads where children do the speaking are cute, I don't think they will be as effective. From experience, I know that our opponents will just dismiss the kids. They will most likely say that the children were trained to say those things and that they don't realize what they are promoting. That the kids are unaware of what's actually best for them, which is why they need a mother and father :-/

  • 66. jt  |  August 12, 2010 at 3:08 am

    I spent sometime watching videos of same sex proposals on youtube the other day. They had me in happy tears. I just kept thinking 'how can anyone think this is wrong?'

    This one really had the tears flowing (in a good way!)


    *snif* jt

  • 67. jt  |  August 12, 2010 at 3:10 am

    Oh, so I should have added that I think it would be great to show proposals as well as weddings. jt

  • 68. Anna Bryan  |  August 12, 2010 at 3:13 am

    and maybe I need to learn how to spell. "imagine" not imaging…

  • 69. Mouse  |  August 12, 2010 at 3:15 am

    It may be shallow, but it is also correct – people respond more positively to attractive people.

    From a marketing perspective – and this is absolutely all about marketing – looks sell.

    DChomo might have presented that idea more tactfully, but it's not wrong.

    Keep in mind, the intended audience is not the supportive community who will view these couples as sweet. On the contrary, this is intended to change the hearts and minds of people who are not on our side. First, they have to be able to identify with the couples in the videos before they can sympathize with them.

    I think these videos are sweet, too, but I don't find them particularly compelling. If I try to imagine being in the mindset of opposing marriage equality, nothing here would get me out of that. If I try to imagine being the sort of person who just doesn't like gay people, these videos do nothing to change that. If I try to think as someone who sees gay relationships as abnormal, these videos don't jump out and force me to recognize how normal these couples are.

    I don't see anything positive coming from the Felicia and Liz story. While I think the expect result is we're to feel bad for them that mom couldn't bring herself to show up, I fear that the people whose minds we need to open might actually side with mom.

    You're already starting from a disadvantage trying to get sympathy for a lesbian from people who aren't sympathetic towards lesbians. It doesn't help that the person we're supposed to feel for is also large – and while it's shallow, it's reality that people in general aren't kind to fat people – nor that she has a lip piercing, which is distracting, causing viewers to stare at the hideous metal thing in her lip rather than pay attention to her story.

    Barry's story seems to me to be the most likely to have any positive response. He's a perfectly normal old man talking about his daughter's wedding. That his wife died before their daughter could be legally married works as a guilt card and tugs at the heart strings. He doesn't say it, but you can hear between the lines "If people like you hadn't passed Prop 22, then maybe my wife could have been at her daughter's wedding years ago. Maybe my daughter could have had her mom watch her say her vows from the pews instead of from heaven." You can hear the pain in his voice and it makes you want to do what you can to fix it, but it's too late for him and you can't.

    Still, it's sad to me that the best video we can come up with to show that our marriages are not to be feared is the one that doesn't even feature the scary gays.

  • 70. Kathleen  |  August 12, 2010 at 3:16 am

    We're pretty forgiving around here of typos and such. If we weren't, I would have been banished long ago.

  • 71. Mouse  |  August 12, 2010 at 3:24 am

    Shining the lights on them makes them run for it.

  • 72. Andrea  |  August 12, 2010 at 3:39 am

    DChomo is right on the money. It's pure Marketing 101.

    People who support equality aren't the target. The target is ambivalent straight folks. And for a straight audience, attractive women sell. Men want to do them (especially in pairs!), and women want to be them. It works. Period.

    For those playing dumb, "attractive" means under-30, slender, and femme. No tattoos or piercings besides ears, please. If you are still unclear, there are women's fashion magazines at the supermarket checkout that exist solely to explain in detail what is, and is not "attractive" for women. Consider them reference sources.

    I'll tell you what doesn't sell: TEH BUTTSEKS. It's the first thing they think of when they see a male couple, and it is a SEVERE turn-off. If you must show men at all, only do one ad, use it sparsely, and your models need to be dead ringers for those two guys from Twilight. Body and facial hair and piercings are all no-nos. If they would look out of place in the pages of Tiger Beat, your models are off-message.

    Take notes on this, there will be a test at the next voter referendum.

  • 73. Sagesse  |  August 12, 2010 at 3:43 am

    While waiting, I just watched Rachel Maddow from last night on DADT. She was fierce! It's long (four clips) but worth the time.

  • 74. Alan E.  |  August 12, 2010 at 3:54 am

    Our opponents bring out the big guns, and we need to do the same. There are strategies that have proven results, but we can also draw a line somewhere a lot closer in the sand than them. because of that, we need to maximize what works.

  • 75. JC  |  August 12, 2010 at 4:08 am

    Brilliant! Thank you for sharing. It's even got that "A Storm Is Gathering"/right-wing political ad voice talent. Perfect!

  • 76. LD  |  August 12, 2010 at 4:09 am

    I concur with Nathan about the kids issue. I think that would backfire, majorly.

  • 77. Josiah  |  August 12, 2010 at 4:18 am

    I voted for Xavier and Michael, because the little girl is very engaging and their talk about family and God might be appealing to some people who are on the fence. Barry Wally would have been my second choice, but I think that the poignancy of his wife not being able to attend their daughter's wedding might be less effective than a strong, positive message. For the same reason, I thought that Felicia and Liz's story, although painful for those of us who are already on the side of marriage equality, would not be as effective for those who are undecided. And although Matt and Sean are quite sweet, there wasn't much in the video that showed the importance of full, legal marriage as opposed to civil union and/or a private ceremony that's not recognized by the state.

  • 78. Vaati  |  August 12, 2010 at 4:23 am

    I agree with Straight Grandmother, the people in those videos could be any of us trying to get our story out and we have to appreciate the courage it took to sit there and tell their story to a camera. This movement is probably the biggest 'coming out' many people in this community have had to do since their first one and it would be a shame to alienate couples who get branded 'unattractive'.

    I know we're looking for straight support, but showing real families is the right thing to do, we're not trying to have sex appeal be the focus. As a younger person already in a relationship these couples remind me of my family, uncles and aunts, parents, family friends. People you are close too, sympathize with, and love because they are always there for you, not because you would imagine having sex with them.

    They are real and we shouldn't put anything out there that isn't. We don't have to steal stock photos, or lie about how many people support us, we're on the right side of this.

  • 79. Sagesse  |  August 12, 2010 at 4:32 am

    Real people aren't airbrushed. The people in the Maine marriage equality ads weren't Hollywood/Madison Ave perfect, but they seemed to be effective.

  • 80. LD  |  August 12, 2010 at 4:39 am

    I didn't want to say it– I agree that none of these videos are ideal. Not for a PSA ad targeting non-supporters. The Barry Wally one is the best for sure, but not enough focus on him being afraid/upset about his daughter's lack of security. The other three videos would be great to send SUPPORTERS– people who are not morally/religiously opposed to same sex marriage– as encouragement in keeping up the fight. But I'm sad to say that using these videos in a PSA for non-supporters would not help in my opinion.

  • 81. Anna Bryan  |  August 12, 2010 at 4:41 am

    I'm interested to understand how you define "effective". As I recall, marriage equality was repealed in Maine after it was passed by the legislature and signed into law by the Governor as a basic right of fairness an equality.

    Sorry if I'm being brash today, but this waiting sucks.

  • 82. Brittney  |  August 12, 2010 at 4:46 am

    I agree with straight grandmother and vaati.
    This is not about looks, this is about real people and real families. Looks have nothing to do with this issue…or at least, they shouldn't.
    That is another big thing that is wrong with this country, people base too much on the way someone looks. The couples that came out to do these videos are genuine, loving couples, not fake model types…
    We're not aiming for sex appeal here, we're aiming to get people to think, and possibly change their minds on this issue.

  • 83. JonT  |  August 12, 2010 at 4:48 am

    Doing that subscribing thing.

  • 84. isa  |  August 12, 2010 at 4:49 am

    I have to agree–I don't think any of these were that great for reaching people who aren't already supporters. I was touched by all of them, but I think that we should be finding weddings to feature that include both joyful parents and lovely children. I thought that Xavier and Michael's was the best, but that the little girl (though absolutely adorable) made some comments that i'm afraid would be misinterpreted, and I disliked the emphasis on how their family was more 'real' now that they were married–clearly 5 kids is a real family! Focus on the rights, or the happy families for this fight instead of the losses and setbacks we've had so far.

  • 85. sam  |  August 12, 2010 at 5:25 am

    I can't vote for any one over any other. I think the power in each of these videos is that these are people that are normal, and what we need is for people to realize that we are in fact normal, average, everyday people, that they know us and interact with us and that our sexual orientation doesn't make us essentially different. Can you do four separate PSA's using each of these videos?

  • 86. James UK  |  August 12, 2010 at 6:00 am

    The best video I have seen is the one with Patricia Clarkson repeating the testimony of Helen Zia from the trial itself. Her testimony was so powerful, even more so than the actual plaintiffs. And Patricia Clarkson has the advantage of a face that a lot of the public knows.

  • 87. Breaking the Silence  |  August 12, 2010 at 10:41 am

    I, too, thought of how parents (of adults, especially) should be reached by Mr. Wally. Some may well be like the mother suffered by Felicia and Liz, but I would hope that for most sincere/rational parents, the tragedy of not getting to see (or not being with your spouse to see) your offspring marry the one they love and choose would resonate. I think that is a tragedy and, though saddening, should be well-represented…along with all the more joyous expressions. :)

  • 88. Anonygrl  |  August 12, 2010 at 10:48 am

    OK… here's my take on the videos…. no single one of them is the best… each has important bits, and I would do an edit of all of them. Cutting back and forth between couples and Wally, I would use the following bits. From Xavier and Michael, the bit about the kids all coming back from college, and their daughter saying she likes having the big family, but cut dad prompting her, if possible. From Felicia and Liz, the spot where they are listing all the people who DID come and maybe a TINY bit about mom missing it, but not too much, since that was (sadly) her choice. Plus the shot right at that listing point, with the girl with the stud from the side and her wife from the front is gorgeous. From Matt and Sean, the bit about the proposal and bacon wrapped porkchops, and the bit about how your life is completely changed and a little bit about the people from different walks of life at the wedding. From Wally, the piece where he talks about his granddaughter's birth and a quick piece from the end about how Pat missed the wedding but would have loved it. I would put that last and add a voiceover tag line about how sad it would be if anyone else had to miss out on marriage, because marriage matters. Heartstrings!

    It is the director in me. I say why not use the best of all pieces.

    If, however, re-edits are not an option, the one that plays the best as a whole is Matt and Sean. It is the clearest, the best through line, and though it does not include children, it talks very clearly about how marriage changes your life completely… and that is the important message.

  • 89. Lee  |  August 12, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    Voted for Matt & Sean (the lesbian videos were too sad for my tastes, and although I can see the family appeal in Xavier and Michael's video, I'm not religious and I don't like kids, so that one didn't do anything for me, personally).

    Also posted the link on a forum I frequent that has an LGBT thread so more people can vote. =)

  • 90. Rose  |  August 12, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    None of the above. Sorry. I got maybe twenty seconds into the first one, and could barely get a few seconds into the others. There's something about the images/music/etc in them that's a huge turn-off. It needs to GRAB, and it just doesn't.

    The best PSA I have yet seen for marriage equality is this one from Ireland.

  • 91. Rose  |  August 12, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    YES absolutely. Thank you for articulating it so clearly.

  • 92. sam  |  August 12, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    Can I now vote for this? This is the best idea yet!

  • 93. Straight Grandmother  |  August 14, 2010 at 2:53 am

    Rose, I TOTALLY agree with you, the Irish ad is THE BEST AD EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 94. Valerie Alexander  |  August 19, 2010 at 7:55 am

    Hi Andrew,
    We made 38 videos. one was two teenage boys talking about their dad's marriage, and eight others included children of gay couples.

    For those who are concerned about the attractiveness of the couples, first, I find them all beautiful beyond words, but I guess that's because I had the privilege of getting to know them all. Second, we have 34 more videos to share, some of which feature GORGEOUS men and women (even by your "objective" standards).

    When picking the first four to showcase, it never occurred to me to consider the physical appeal of the subjects, only the emotional appeal of their stories, but I guess that's because I am a filmmaker, not a marketing expert. I'm sure several of the next 34 will have broad appeal, although it was also always part of the goal of this campaign to show the extreme diversity within the LGBT community, which I think we've done.

  • 95. Alan E.  |  August 19, 2010 at 9:17 am

    It is difficult to say that skin-deep attractiveness is necessary, but it's also the truth when it comes to marketing. Working in a field that requires marketing, I have to sometimes stretch the limits between what is personally acceptable and generally acceptable in advertising.

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