TV Ad Featuring Republican & Democratic Administration Officials Begins Airing Nationally Today

February 20, 2013

Contact: Respect For Marriage Coalition Office / 202-567-5720

Respect for Marriage Coalition Launches National Ad Campaign Featuring President Obama, Fmr. VP Dick Cheney, Fmr. First Lady Laura Bush & Fmr. Defense Secretary Colin Powell in Support of Marriage Equality

Washington, D.C. – The Respect for Marriage Coalition today launched an unprecedented national advertising campaign featuring prominent bipartisan leaders – including President Obama, Former Vice President Dick Cheney, Former First Lady Laura Bush, and Former Secretary of Defense Colin Powell – speaking out in support of marriage for gay and lesbian Americans. The national television, print, and online advertising campaign shares “#Time4Marriage” branding, which is intended to let the public know how to become a part of the discussion online and join the bipartisan majority of Americans who support marriage for all committed couples.

The Respect for Marriage Coalition comprises more than 80 organizations supporting the freedom to marry – and this is the first time in history that LGBT advocacy organizations across America have come together to fund a national ad buy. Against the backdrop of President Obama’s historic comments about marriage rights in his inaugural address, freedom to marry legislation pending in a number of states, and two landmark marriage cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, the Coalition is working to grow support for marriage rights for same-sex couples across the nation.

The national television ad featuring past and present Administration officials’ statements in support of the freedom to marry is titled “Leadership,” and it will begin airing today on cable, and during networks’ Sunday shows over the coming weeks. The transcript of the ad reads:


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VO: None of us would want to be told we can’t marry the person we love. That’s why a growing majority of Americans believe it’s time to allow marriage for gay and lesbian couples.

Former First Lady Laura Bush: When couples are committed to each other and love each other then they ought to have the same sort of rights that everyone has.

Former Secretary of Defense Colin Powell: Allowing them to live together with the protection of law, it seems to me is the way we should be moving in this country

Former Vice President Dick Cheney: Freedom means freedom for everyone

President Barack Obama: Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law.

VO: It’s time for marriage.

Full-page print versions of the ad featuring the same officials will begin running in major national newspapers – including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post – over the coming days, and online ads will appear across top online news sites. The Coalition plans to spend more than $1 million to keep the ads running over the coming weeks. View the full page ad online here (PDF).

According to a new national poll, three-quarters of all voters – including many of those who oppose marriage for same-sex couples – believe that marrying the person you love is a fundamental freedom and Constitutional right for every American, including gays and lesbians. A majority of Americans also believes that to continue denying gays and lesbians the freedom to marry constitutes discrimination. And an overwhelming majority of voters of all political persuasions, including those who personally oppose marriage equality, also believe that granting same-sex couples the same legal right to marry as straight couples is likely to happen: 77% believe that marriage for gays and lesbians will be legal in the United States in “the next couple of years” and 83% believe that it will happen in “the next 5-10 years.” This finding reflects a double-digit increase in voters’ opinions on this issue in just two years.

The Respect for Marriage Coalition hopes to keep building on this momentum for the freedom to marry by raising awareness about growing support and encouraging Americans from across the political spectrum to get involved. To see the ad and get the latest news and information about the fight for the freedom to marry, visit

The Respect for Marriage Coalition is a partnership of more than 80 civil rights, faith, health, labor, business, legal, LGBT, student, and women's organizations working together to end the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and grow support for the freedom to marry. The Coalition is co-chaired by Freedom to Marry and the Human Rights Campaign.