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Gay Marriage Group Begins Statewide Ad Campaign

by Indy, published

Although a decision on the legality of Prop. 8 by the California Supreme Court is due any day now, leaders of Equality Califoria (EQCA) said Thursday they are moving ahead with a new TV and grassroots-led campaign to make gay marriage legal in the Golden State.

As a first step in the effort, EQCA officials said they have made a statewide TV ad buy to broadcast pro gay marriage commercials. Simultaneously they will launching a 100-day-long grassroots ground campaign that will be dubbed "Win Marriage Back: Make it Real!" The two commercials, which will begin airing Monday, can be viewed here .

"While we remain hopeful that the court could invalidate Prop. 8, we cannot wait another day to take action. We are launching the most extensive campaign of its kind to talk openly and honestly with Californians on their front porches, online and over the airwaves in order to achieve full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community members," stated EQCA Marriage Director Marc Solomon, adding the goal of the campaign is to eventually reach 300,000 Californians in person and "millions more" online or over the TV airwaves.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom -- the political ambassador of the gay marriage movement and a candidate for governor in 2010 -- approved of the plan.

"This is exactly the kind of person-to-person, peer-to-peer outreach we need to be doing to change minds and win support for the freedom to marry for same-sex couples," Newsom said in a statement.

EQCA is a plaintiff in the current legal challenge against Prop. 8. The court is scheduled to issue its ruling between now and June 3.

Andrea Shorter, EQCA's coalition coordinator, said the new campaign will focus much of its attention on developing support from the African-American, Hispanic and religious communities. Following last fall's successful passage of Prop. 8, EQCA's handling of outreach in those communities was roundly faulted by political professionals and pundits alike.

"This campaign is for every person in every community in every part of our state, and it will empower our diverse community and allies to win marriage back together," said Shorter in a statement. "We will also enlist 1,000 clergy in the next 100 days to help spread the word that marriage equality is a spiritual value as well as a civil right."

EQCA officials say they are currently hiring and placing 25 full-time field organizers throughout the state, including the Central Valley, the Inland Empire, San Diego, Sacramento, Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Six organizers have already been hired, they noted.

Follow Jeff Mitchell's political journalism at BAPolitix.org

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