One of the country's most acclaimed actors is lending his voice to the fight for marriage equality in a new ad produced by the Human Rights Campaign.
Morgan Freeman narrates the 30-second ad, which began airing on Sunday. Invoking the women's suffrage movement and the civil rights movement, the ad asserts that the fight for the right of same-sex couples to marry is the next battle for equality.
Entitled "Dawn of a New Day," Freeman's unmistakable voice narrates an ad with images of the nation's historic landmarks and images of same-sex couples. "America stands at the dawn of a new day," Freeman begins.
Freedom, justice and human dignity have always guided our journey toward a more perfect union. Now across our country, we are standing together for the right of gay and lesbian Americans to marry the person they love. And with historic victories for marriage, we've delivered a mandate for full equality. The wind is at our back. But our journey has just begun. Join us.
HRC director of communications, Michael Cole-Schwartz, told Metro Weekly that Freeman donated his services after being contacted by the country's largest LGBT-rights organization. HRC paid $250,000 for the ad to run on cable news shows as well as the Sunday news shows in D.C., New York and Los Angeles from Nov. 25 through Dec. 2. According to Cole-Schwartz, the buy was done to "focus on the quality of the viewership as opposed to gross rating points."
In a statement released Sunday, HRC President Chad Griffin said sweeping wins for marriage equality at the ballot box on Election Day "proved to be a pivotal turning point in the movement for marriage equality."
"As we continue the march toward full equality in legislatures and the courts, it is crystal clear that the prospect of an equal future is no longer up for debate; the question now is how soon it will arrive," Griffin said. "While we celebrate today, we will keep fighting until full equality has reached every single person in every corner of this vast country."
The new ad comes as HRC begins to focus its efforts on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which remains stalled in Congress, and continues to press for an executive order from the White House that would forbid federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Cases surrounding marriage equality, in the form of several challenges to the discriminatory 1996 Defense of Marriage Act and the challenge to California's Proposition 8, also await review by the Supreme Court.
WATCH the ad here:
[Editor's note: This post has been updated to incorporate statements from an HRC spokesman.]