Frank Schubert has been busy in Minnesota, Maine, Maryland and Washington this election season. The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) has been pouring out-of-state money into each of these races to help fund ads filled with scare tactics and misleading information to trick people into voting against equality.
If you have any doubt, take a look at this fantastic video that TheFour put together in which they compare the commercials currently running in each of the four states that have marriage initiatives on the ballot.
While each commercial has their state-specific organization stamped on the screen, the fact that each commercial is identical highlights an organized effort at the national level to stop marriage equality.
The commercials use the same messaging that has worked so well for Schubert in other states like California where voters elected to limit the rights of committed same-sex couples.
Minnesota, Maine, Maryland and Washington, let’s send Schubert a strong message: Your scare tactics are outdated and voters are smart enough to see through your twisting of the truth.
Oh, and take your money and mean-spirited commercials elsewhere. In Minnesota, we believe in the Golden Rule.
In Minnesota, we Vote No.
On Friday, Minnesotans United posted the latest television commercial in the campaign. The first 10-seconds of the ad is narrated while the recent misleading Minnesota for Marriage commercial plays in the background. A female voice shares:
Unfortunately, supporters of the marriage amendment have been trying to mislead Minnesotans. These ads have been deemed false and misleading.
Statements including “false amendment 1 ads by out-of-state interests” and “WCCO: ‘False’ and ‘Misleading’” are displayed on top of the Minnesota for Marriage ad as the narrator speaks.
At 11s, the solid dark background of the ad is replaced with John and Elizabeth from Edina, Minnesota sitting at what appears to be their dining room table. The couple talk directly to the camera:
Elizabeth: Our parents taught us the Golden Rule, not judging others and treating others the way we’d like to be treated.
John: And those are the values we’re showing our children by voting no on the marriage amendment.
What do you think about this response? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
If you haven’t seen the latest 30-second ad from Minnesotans United, check it out now.
The commercial features Lutheran Bishop, Herbert Chilstrom, and his wife, Minister Corinne Chilstrom. Together, they share why they are voting no on the mean-spirited marriage amendment.
Herbert: When I was elected Bishop, gay couples started wanting marriage, and I said, I would rather not deal with that.
Corinne: And then we were invited to this meeting and we came into the living room and here were about 25 gay men. We just asked them, ‘What do you want from the church?’ They said, ‘We just want to be accepted like everyone else.’
Herbert: These brothers and sisters in Christ deserve my full support. That’s why we’re voting no.
Please share this video (Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) as a reminder that many Christians are on our side and voting NO to discrimination.
Check out this new radio commercial from Minnesotans United. It’s a full 60-second audio clip that includes a narrator and Kim from Savage, Minnesota encouraging a NO vote. The ad introduces Kim as “a mother, a Catholic and a Republican.” For those that watched the 30-second commercial I posted yesterday, you’ll notice that it’s the same audio track included in this radio ad.
The narrator concludes the ad with a call to action:
If you agree that we shouldn’t use Minnesota’s constitution to deny anyone a basic freedom and that it shouldn’t be illegal to marry the person you love, on Tuesday, please vote no on amendment 1.
If you hear this ad on the radio, be sure to post a comment and let me know what you think!
In Minnesota, there are certain truths we hold dear: freedom, treating others as we would want to be treated and honesty. Supporters of the marriage amendment aren’t living up to that.
Kim goes on to rebuff claims made in the recent Minnesota for Marriage ad when she states:
The truth? This amendment means no change to what schools teach. And no change to the fact that children learn their most important values at home from their parents.
The 30-second spot concludes with Kim speaking to the camera again:
The values we share and the values we want to teach our kids are why so many Minnesotans are voting No on Amendment 1. And I hope you will too.
Clearly, the reference to “Amendment 1″ was in response to Minnesota for Marriage calling it that in their commercial. You see, everyone has heard the message, “Vote No on the marriage amendment.” So, strategically, it makes sense that Minnesota for Marriage doesn’t refer to it by that name.
It’s also clear that Minnesotans United is countering amendment supporters’ Kalley Yanta with Kim. Talking to the camera in a soft voice reminds me of Minnesota for Marriage’s second ad (sans the iPad and coffee mug).
I’m not sure if this spot will air on television, but I hope it does. Why we didn’t proactively address this concern is still beyond me, but we can evaluate our strategies next week. Right now, let’s defeat this mean-spirited amendment!
A wonderful full-page ad from October 28, 2012 Star Tribune.
Source: Minnesotans United for All Families’ Facebook Page
Late last week, the Star Tribune shared how the Minneapolis-based Carmichael Lynch ad agency organized a “Vote No” event. According to Doug Spong, president of Carmichael Lynch:
If we hang a big unwelcome sign on the state of Minnesota, a certain segment of the population will no longer view Minnesota as an inclusive, diverse, tolerant, welcoming state. It’s going to cost us people. It’s going to cost us talent.
I’ve made the business case against this mean-spirited amendment on this blog many times. Now there’s a fancy ad agency backing it up!
Many thanks to Carmichael Lynch for standing up for equality and businesses in Minnesota!
If you haven’t seen the latest commercial from Minnesotans United for All Families, take 30 seconds to watch now.
The video was posted to YouTube on October 26, 2012 with the following information:
Minnesotans United for All Families 5th television ad features Republican Representative John Kriesel’s floor speech from the Minnesota House of Representatives in May 2011. Regarding Cpl Andrew Wilfahrt, Representative Kriesel said: “He gave his life in Afghanistan protecting our freedoms. He was gay. I cannot look at this picture and say, Corporal, you are good enough to fight for your country and give your life, but you are not good enough to marry the person you love.”
The Wilfahrt’s have made it their mission to celebrate their son’s life through telling his story. You can read more about their story in previous blog postings on this site.
It was only a matter of time before Minnesota for Marriage started playing dirty. As predicted, the group that supports the mean-spirited marriage amendment is waiting until the last days before the campaign to release commercials filled with scare tactics and threats of how things would change in Minnesota if the marriage amendment is defeated.
I’m not sure what sickens me more, the fact that Minnesota for Marriage would run such a deceptive ad or the fact that many Minnesotans will believe this message.
Minnesotans United for All Families has already put out a fact check document that refutes each of the claims made in the new commercial.
The thing I find to be the most frustrating about this is that I blogged about this very topic months ago. We KNEW this attack was coming and yet we did not proactively address it. Instead, we continue to run this terrible commercial (there, I said it). We’ve said since DAY 1 that the “rights” argument doesn’t resonate with voters, and yet this is the ad that continues to run. Where are the real Minnesotans? Where are the personal stories each of us has been encouraged to tell.
With less than two weeks to go, we’ve got to update our strategy or we will lose this fight in Minnesota.
Minnesota for Marriage released their 3rd television commercial today. This commercial follows the tactic that opponents of same-sex marriage have used in all other battles: Wait until just prior to the election to release a commercial filled with scare tactics and lies.
But Minnesotans United for All Families was ready for this attack and has already released a fact check document that disputes the claims made by Minnesota for Marriage.
Be sure to check out the facts and share this post. Let’s make sure Minnesotans know that these ads are filled with nothing more than scare tactics.
Just a few minutes ago, I posted the first television commercial from Minnesota for Marriage. Here is the second video (also unlisted on YouTube as of 1:20am CST). This second commercial is less about the celebration of marriage, instead focusing on why we need this amendment. The commercial features Kalley Yanta who speaks to the camera:
Who should decide the definition of marriage? We think it should be the people. Not judges or politicians. Right now, there’s a court case in Hennepin county to redefine marriage. Some powerful legislators want to do the same thing. If they succeed, voters will have lost their say. Everyone has a right to love who they choose, but nobody has a right to redefine marriage. Please vote yes on the marriage protection amendment so that voters always have the final say.
This ad begins to introduce some scare tactic. Specifically, the reference of a Hennepin County court case and the often sited judges and politicians that want to redefine marriage.
Once again, though, the tone of the commercial is soft. They aren’t “radical judges” as they are oftentimes referred, just judges. Also, something that I’ve not seen before, Yanta says, “Everyone has a right to love who they choose…” Clearly, Minnesota for Marriage strategists must realize that Minnesotans are supportive of two loving people expressing a commitment, and so they’ve acknowledged the fact. However, Yanta then goes on to say that “nobody has a right to redefine marriage.”
It appears that the going in strategy is a soft message with not even a hint at doom and gloom. Rather, the focus of both of these commercials is about putting the decision in the hands of voters.
When I get more time, I’ll dig into these commercials a little bit deeper. While the strategy will most likely evolve as we get closer to the election, we at least have an idea of how it’s starting out!
Minnesota for Marriage has posted their television commercial online. The commercial is still “unlisted” on YouTube as of 1:00am CST – however, you can view it if via the direct link.
Here is the script from the 30-second ad:
Marriage, as the union of a man and a woman, has served society well for thousands of years. Marriage is more than a commitment between two loving people. It was made by God for the creation and care of the next generation. Marriage is an issue that should be decided by the people. Voting yes secures traditional marriage in the constitution and ensures only voters can determine the definition of marriage in the future. Please vote yes on the marriage protection amendment.
Unlike ads in other states, there are no dark storm clouds or messages of doom and gloom. Rather, the narrator is soft-spoken and highlights a lot of good things about marriage (e.g., two loving people, creation and care of next generation).
In July, I blogged that even the amendment wording itself doesn’t seem particularly harmful, until you dig deeper. The same can be said about the above ad.
It will be interesting to see what the other ads will look like from Minnesota for Marriage. Stay tuned!
If you haven’t seen the second television commercial put together by Minnesotans United for All Families yet, go ahead and take a look.
In addition to the spot, here’s some additional background on the spot:
The new ad features John Gamoke, a Richfield man who says his marriage of 22 years is the most important thing in his life. He asks, “who am I to deny that to anybody?”
A spokeswoman for Minnesotans United for All Families says Gamoke is an actor but that he’s speaking about his real marriage.
I was a little bit surprised to see that Gamoke is an actor. With all of the real Minnesotans out there that believe this amendment has no place in the land of 10,000 lakes, I wonder why we didn’t use one of them?
Regardless, several people have shared that they thought the commercial had an impact. Personally, I’m not so sure.
What are your thoughts?
Earlier this month, I shared with you a commercial titled, “Grandparents” that was put together by Freedom to Marry. In the commercial, Fred and Yvonne Peterson, of Duluth, talk about their marriage and the fact that they don’t see why we would deny love and equality to committed same-sex couples.
Their letter to the Duluth News Tribune starts out:
On Sept. 5 we celebrated our 59th wedding anniversary. It was an anniversary we certainly will remember because it is not every year you make a television commercial supporting gay and lesbian Minnesotans. For our anniversary this year we decided to stand with those who want to make the same lifelong commitment we made nearly six decades ago.
They share that they agreed to make the commercial to start a conversation.
Our generation did not talk about people who were gay and lesbian; you certainly did not think they should get married.
However, times change.
The letter goes on to share that most people know someone that is gay. Having a gay grandson, the Peterson’s have been talking about this topic for years.
They’re also so very grateful for all of the people that have reached out to them after the commercial aired. From old babysitters to military buddies, the support has been “overwhelming and incredible.”
But not everyone agrees with Fred and Yvonne:
We do know there are some people who don’t agree with us. That’s OK. We understand. People are not used to this idea, and we weren’t either. It takes time. We just wanted to tell our story and start a conversation. What we tell people is what we learned from our 59 years of marriage. It is about love. It is about making that lifelong commitment and sharing the responsibility.
That’s the story we wanted to share, and we want other Minnesotans to share their stories as well. The people we have talked to say we’ve made it easier for them to talk about this very important issue. The support we have received tells us Minnesota is ready to be the first state to vote down this type of amendment.
If I could, I would give both Fred and Yvonne a big hug! It’s through honest and open conversations that we change hearts and minds – and I’m so thankful for this Duluth couple for helping with that cause.
In this second television commercial from Minnesotans United for All Families, John from Richfield shares that his marriage is the most important thing in his life, and then asks the question:
Who am I to deny that to anybody, gay or straight?
In the last 15 seconds of the commercial, the “rights” argument is made:
I’m not going to limit a basic freedom just because I’m uncomfortable, and I’m not going to put it in our state Constitution. Our Constitution should protect our freedoms, not take them away.
As Vote No appears on the screen, John says:
I’m voting no.
Clearly, the emphasis on the Constitution in this ad is designed to get Minnesotans to think about whether or not we really want to make this permanent change. However, with Voter ID slated to pass with large margins, I don’t know that the Constitution message is one we want to hit hard (obviously, people are just find amending the Constitution).
Strategically, the Vote NO side has focused on making personal connections and telling stories. This is a result of analysis from previous campaigns that highlight the fact that the “rights” message doesn’t resonate strongly with voters (check out this great article from the Minnesota Post). With that said, there must be a belief that some voters in Minnesota may be swayed by the Constitution and rights message for this commercial to be aired.
What do you think? Does it resonate with you?
Well, it’s official. Minnesotans United has released the first official television commercial of the campaign! You may remember that moving television commercial put together by Freedom to Marry in August. In that commercial, Duluth grandparents Yvonne and Fred Peterson talk about love and ask “Why shouldn’t other people be able to enjoy the happiness and the love that we’ve enjoyed through our lifetime?”
In this new commercial, John and Kim – Catholics and Republicans – talk about the discussions they’ve had with a “gay couple” that moved into their neighborhood and how “they were the most wonderful neighbors.”
The commercial concludes with:
It’s ok to take a second look.
And when you do, vote no.
I’m going to pause from sharing my commentary on this commercial just yet. Instead, I’d love to hear from you. What are your thoughts? Observations? Drop me a note or share in the comments.