The Problem With Same-Sex Marriage PSAs

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Oscar Raymundo's Easy Target takes one conventional argument from news media, pop culture, local politics, or queer lifestyle -- and shoots it down.

This week, the hearts of many melted after watching an Australian marriage equality public service announcement produced by GetUp!, an independent advocacy group. The video is shot in first-person and documents a relationship from lust-at-first-sight to marriage proposal in a backyard and all the trials and tribulations in between. The video has decidedly gone viral with almost 3 millions views so far, and it's already been called "the most-watched gay marriage ad of all time."

The video's popularly is due in part to the tenderness of the message and the good looks of the adorable "dream husband." The video also employs a switch-and-surprise strategy reminiscent of Prodigy's infamous "Smack My Bitch Up" music video, where it is revealed at the end that the heroin-shooting, stripper-smacking, self-destructive party junkie is (gasp!) a female. Similarly, GetUp!'s video ends with the revelations that it's two men who are choosing the type of commitment that is indistinguishable from that of straight couples.

Continue reading to see it for yourself.


A public service announcement is most effective if it reaches that tipping point of public relevance, which in the Internet age means YouTube views. However, not every same-sex marriage PSA that is released by even big nonprofit groups like the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation reach that level of prominence. Here are a couple of reasons why:


"Rory's Story," the Irish video for marriage equality, tugs a little too hard at the heartstrings. A son of a lesbian couple is put in a scenario straight out of Grey's Anatomy after he is denied visitation rights at the hospital. Although the situation is heartbreaking, and the video has the overwrought music to accompany it, research has shown that depictions of commitment, not refusal of rights, is what really gets the point across when it comes to getting support for same-sex marriage.


For some reason, powerful organizations like the HRC and GLAAD have gotten the idea that bigots will pay more attention to actors and athletes (especially straight ones) over regular people. And in this video produced by the HRC for marriage equality in New York, it's difficult not to pay attention to Sean Avery, but mostly for his interesting choice of eyewear.


Laughter is sometimes more powerful than pity, especially when poking fun at anti-gay groups and their outlandish claims against marriage equality. Funny Or Die had only one agenda when it produced this parody of NOM's gathering storm video around Proposition 8 -- to make us LOL.

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9 comments
guest
guest

While gay couples in love are nice to see, what traditional marriage proponents want is to support monogamy and no images of love are going to convice us that marriage will somehow make gay couples more monogamous. The appaling lack of monogamy I have seen in what are otherwise faithful couples, along with statistics on gay fidelity, are really what has shaped my views.

LONE LUNATIC
LONE LUNATIC

why get married at all? 62% of Americans just live together now days. marriage is outdated and a religious hangup and its man made made up crap for geeks. no where in the bible does it tell us to get married. besides it ends up in divorce  3/4 of the time. shacking up is best.

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beauty salons san francisco

Very nice post. Ijust stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I’ve really enjoyed surfingaround your blog posts. 

Hank Kelly
Hank Kelly

How about a gay PSA showing real gay people?  No, not the "dream husband."   Just a couple of regular guys, two cops or two Iowa farmers,  simply, two guys anything,  who have been together showing their real lives, expanding waist lines and wrinkles they have earned from the stress of everyday life.  I am sick of cutesy and 20 something. 

Guest
Guest

I read this post three times and I still can't discern your point, exactly. Is it just that the last three videos didn't reach the popularity of the first one? That's your problem with ss marriage PSAs?

LONE LUNATIC
LONE LUNATIC

 you should try surfing on waves on the north shore of Oahu Hawaii. thats real surfing pal.

Country Hippie Gays
Country Hippie Gays

  gay hippie guys like doug dwyer and jerry noakes of forestville california near santa rosa are the guys your looking for. they been together for over 30+ years both still have long hair and beards and they live in a log cabin and chop fire wood  and wear flannel loggers shirts and work boots. not many gay guys around like that no more. look them up. and they dont talk gay either. they talk just like any other old hippie would. they are the most regular gay guys on earth. country hippie gays not city sissys or flamers from the city of frisco.

Oscar Raymundo
Oscar Raymundo

living in a log cabin and chopping wood is not "real" nor "regular." but I am glad that they don't "talk gay either."

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