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Monday, September 22, 2008

Prop 8 Ad Wars Begin

Posted By on Mon, Sep 22, 2008 at 4:38 PM

"Vote No on Prop 8," the group hellbent on defeating the ballot initiative that would eliminate the right of gay couples to marry in California, has put out their first ad. It's sort of disturbing.

The ad stars a local, straight couple, Julia and Sam Thoron, who seem to have dressed as conservatively and gender-specific as possible (Sam's in a masculine blue button-down, Julia's in a soft pink turtleneck) to deliver their message about wanting their gay daughter to have the same rights as everybody else.

As the first to speak, Sam explains that he and his wife have been married for 46 years, which helps us understand that these are people who consider marriage to be, more or less, a big deal. They're the kind of people who you might say would hold marriage "sacred."

Then we learn the couple has three grown children, including one gay daughter, who will lose her right to marry if Prop 8 isn't defeated. "Please don't eliminate that right, for anyone's family," Julia pleads at the end. Family is the key word here. This ad isn't about the rights of gay people, really. It's about taking into consideration the feelings of their non-gay relatives.

Other than a quick scanning of a photo, gay daughter Liz is basically absent from the ad. It's clearly designed to appeal to the undecided voters who wouldn't think twice about trampling some lesbian's rights, but might sympathize with those straight, clean-cut parents of hers. The ad also conveniently fails to mention that these parents are actually long-time San Francisco PFLAG co-chairs, a small fact that might make them seem more like activists and less like regular folks.

Is this a realistic way to score votes or just defeatist pandering? Thoughts? --Ashley Harrell

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Ashley Harrell

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