ACLU campaigns to advance marriage legislation in New Jersey

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"The Nance" a scene from play

The American Civil Liberties Union formally launched its “Out for Freedom” campaign with ads in The Wall Street Journal and on conservative web sites, urging Republicans in New Jersey and elsewhere to help strike down barriers to marriage equality. The ad launch follows historic U.S. Supreme Court decisions on June 26 that paved the way for same-sex couples.

ACLU Republican Cartoon“We are going to bring Republicans into the ever-increasing groundswell of support for the freedom to marry,” said ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero. “Today begins the next step in the movement for full marriage equality for all Americans, and we need everyone, including Republicans, ‘at the party’ for freedom and fairness.”

The full-page color ad in The Wall Street Journal features states attending a party, with a door manned by Republican elephants. Inside the party are the 13 states with marriage equality, including newly arrived California, as the 37 others wait impatiently outside. The ad urges Republicans to come out for freedom, joining other prominent conservatives who support all Americans’ freedom to marry. The initial online ad buy includes the Journal’s Web site as well as conservative online hub DailyCaller.com.

The ACLU recently hired Steve Schmidt, the vice chair of public affairs at Edelman, the international public relations firm. Schmidt held prominent roles in the 2004 and 2008 Republican presidential campaigns, and he will spearhead the Out for Freedom campaign. The founder of www.GOProud.org, Jimmy LaSalvia, has also been recruited to lead outreach efforts to LGBT conservatives and Tea Party supporters.

“The Republican party stands for freedom, for limited government intrusion in our personal lives,” said Schmidt. “The issue of marriage equality is the Republican Party’s best chance to stand on the right side of history, create a meaningful legacy of fairness, and maintain relevance with young voters. I am proud to help the ACLU make all couples equal in the eyes of the law in all 50 states.”

The ads were designed by Purpose, an agency with offices in New York, London, and Rio de Janeiro. Purpose works with organizations and progressive businesses to mobilize large-scale, purposeful action, combining cutting-edge technology, organizing tools, and brand strategy.

The Out for Freedom campaign will, over the next four years, advance marriage legislation in New Jersey, Illinois, Hawaii, and other states, and challenge constitutional bans on marriage for same-sex couples in Oregon, Nevada and elsewhere. The ACLU plans to spend roughly $10 million through 2016.

For more information, including the full ad, visit: www.aclu.org/out-freedom.

The American Civil Liberties Union formally launched its “Out for Freedom” campaign with ads in The Wall Street Journal and on conservative web sites, urging Republicans in New Jersey and elsewhere to help strike down barriers to marriage equality. The ad launch follows historic U.S. Supreme Court decisions on June 26 that paved the way for same-sex couples.