Bill Browning at The Bilerico Project makes a bloody good point that many marriage equality adverts focus on straights to sell the idea and not the gays themselves. Why do ad makers find it so hard to show gays as parents, as couples and as families in their own right? Is it because voters find it easier to accept their own… and most voters are straight so hey, they’ll listen to other straights.
I understand that focus group after focus group tell pollsters that seeing gay people turns off the straight folks we need to vote in our favor. The general public wants to see grandmas and grandpas talking about their families, but never actually showing them too much. They think that voters will identify with the friends and family members of gays and lesbians. I disagree.
We’ve done all these focus groups and produced these same old ads for years now. We’ve never won with them. We can claim that they move people all we want, but it’s the same as those polls that always show us with inflated numbers about how good we’re doing. People lie about their feelings about same-sex marriage to pollsters. That’s a known fact.
One of the most important honest-to-gosh ways to advance our rights has been pretty simple. LGBT people came out of the closet and showed people their faces, lives, and families. Why should we do any less now?
As I have said before marriage equality is about family but I too would love to see some ads showing GLBT families in their own right – and not just relying on straights to vouch for their gay family members.