This morning I got an email from NOM’s Brian Brown stating that NOM had launched a $500,000 voter outreach campaign to make sure “New Jerseyans” know what’s going on in Trenton. The campaign features a radio ad called “Give Me a Break”, which can be heard here. Below is the script provided by NOM, but by now you can probably write it in your sleep. Same load, different day.
Male ANNCR: Here’s a question. If you were a state legislator, what would you focus on during the Lame Duck session?
Female ANNCR: There’s lots of choices. I’d say jobs and the economy. And the budget deficit!
Male ANNCR: Good pick there. New Jersey has an $8 billion deficit.
You know what some legislators are focused on? Redefining marriage. Throwing marriage to the curb and redefining it as any two people regardless of gender.
Female ANNCR: With all our problems, they want to legalize gay marriage?
Male ANNCR: Governor Corzine had four years to bring this issue up but hasn’t, and now, with just days to go in his administration, the big push is on.
Female ANNCR: No voter input. No accountability. Give me a break!
Male ANNCR: 290,000 New Jerseyans have signed petitions opposing gay marriage. And every state where the people have voted on gay marriage has rejected it.
Female ANNCR: Gay couples ought to be able to live as they choose, but they shouldn’t get lame duck legislators to redefine marriage for all of society.
Male ANNCR: Take a stand. Call your state legislators and tell them you oppose redefining marriage.
Paid for by the National Organization for Marriage.
Naturally Garden State Equality was prepared, and has released two of its own radio ads. The first is called “In New Jersey” and anticipates and refutes some of the old saws that the opposition is so fond of. Listen here
Man: Can you believe what’s happening in New Jersey? Hospitals won’t let some people visit sick loved ones. And some employers won’t give health care to couples who aren’t married. It’s terrible! Civil unions aren’t good enough.
Woman: I don’t understand why New Jersey doesn’t let all couples… just… marry. When two people marry, it doesn’t affect our marriage.
Man: Wait – no health care?! In this economy?! Because people can’t marry?! That ain’t fair.
Woman: And neither are the phony arguments against equality. What does anyone’s marriage have to do with curriculum? New Jersey law already lets parents control what’s taught in school.
Man: We need to focus on the economy… jobs… lowering taxes. You know what? Straight, gay… let people get married. Have equal health care. And share the American dream.
Woman: Paid for by Garden State Equality. We believe in equality for everyone.
GSE’s other ad, “Marsha and Louise”, is the radio version of one of their tv ads (see below fold). Listen here
Announcer: New Jersey parents. New Jersey heroes. Marsha and Louise.
Louise: We’ve had to deal with raising four children, two of whom had significant handicaps. They could not be without health insurance. When I was looking for jobs, I had to ask the question, “Do you have civil union benefits?” Many looked at me as if I had two heads.
Announcer: New Jersey’s civil union law failed Marsha, Louise and their children.
Marsha: That put us in quite a bit of debt in order to meet their special needs. One of our children had significant medical complications… and he passed in July.
Louise: We’ve been together for 20 years, in circumstances in which most people would have separated or divorced. I don’t know what a marriage is, if it is not what we have, and I want that legal recognition.
Announcer: Give Marsha and Louise the freedom to marry. It won’t affect your marriage, but it will mean everything to them. Paid for by Garden State Equality.
I like how Garden State Equality is using local voices for their ads, like Maine and Washington did. NOM seems to like hiring actors lacking regional inflection. Help keep Garden State Equality’s ads on the air with a donation. And if you’re a New Jersey resident, contact your legislators and let them know that voting on and passing the Freedom of Religion and Equality in Civil Marriage Act this session is not negotiable.