It has been refreshing to see more and more Christians coming out in support of marriage equality and stepping away from homophobic beliefs. And now Washington United for Marriage is using that fact to persuade even more Christians in Washington State to support marriage equality with this ad.
This ad manages to hatch three birds with one egg.
The first and most important aspect: It’s a narrative story. Polls show consistently that stories about LGBT couples are the key to winning — because couples in love are instantly comprehensible and disarming. It’s also a story about people’s personal evolution to accept marriage equality — like Obama and Governor Gregoire — and gives voters permission to evolve along with them. If Washington United for Marriage can remind voters, as this ad does well, that everyone feels love the same way, wants love to be recognized the same way, and shift their opinions the same way, they can connect with the lizard-brained moderate voters who typically tune out election hype. Even better: These stories inoculate moderate voters against the infectious scare tactics of the anti-gay right.
Second, this is a straight couple. It’s not a gay couple talking; this isn’t a gay issue. It’s a fairness issue. Third, the man talking is a reverend. The opposition has tried to stake their moral high ground on their piety, and the media keeps falling for it. The approve R-74 campaign is just as religious and more righteous, without being sanctimonious like the bigots who use the Bible as a weapon. More ads like this, please.
This ad hits its target with middle American voters. The Christians who think of themselves as nice people will make the connection that approving Referendum 74 is the nice neighborly thing to do.
And for those “nice” Christians who can’t let go of “what the Bible teaches,” I hope they watch this video by Matthew Vines and rethink their traditional interpretation of what the Bible has to say about homosexuality and same-sex marriage. Vines is a gay Christian. He struggled to make those two facts compatible, going so far as to leave college for two years to study what the Bible had to say on the topic. The result is this thoughtful (and clever) analysis of how to interpret the Bible.
If you can afford the time, watch this video in its entirety. And keep it as a reference to share with anyone who cites the Bible or their Christian faith as a reason to oppose same-sex marriage.