A coalition of more than 80 organizations supporting the right of same-sex couples to marry launched an "unprecedented" national advertising campaign today.
In a 30-second TV ad released by the coalition, clips of bipartisan leaders — including President Barack Obama, former Vice President Dick Cheney, former first lady Laura Bush and former Secretary of State Colin Powell — can be seen voicing their support for same-sex marriage. Entitled "Leadership," the ad will begin running on cable networks today and during the Sunday talk shows in the weeks ahead.
"It's time for marriage," the ad declares.
According to the coalition, which is co-chaired by the Human Rights Campaign and Freedom to Marry, full-page print versions of the ad will run in major national newspapers, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, and online ads will appear on major news websites.
The new ad comes one day after the same coalition released a new poll conducted by Anzalone Liszt Grove Research that found 75 percent of Americans believe the right to marry is a constitutional right. It is a sentiment that breaches party lines, according to the poll, with 91 percent of Democrats, 75 percent of independents and 56 percent of Republicans responding so. Moreover, 83 percent of voters believes same-sex marriage will be legal nationally in the next five to 10 years and 77 percent believe that it will be legal nationally "in the next couple of years."
In a separate poll released yesterday by the Center for American Progress and Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, 59 percent of Americans were found to oppose Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act prohibiting federal recognition of same-sex marriage. Conducted by Goodwin Simon Strategic Research and Voter Consumer Research, the poll also found that 52 percent of Americans support marriage equality.
The new ad campaign and polls come as several states, including Illinois, which approved a same-sex marriage bill in the Senate on Valentine's Day, are poised to consider marriage-equality legislation. Next month, the Supreme Court is also scheduled to begin oral arguments on two cases concerning DOMA and California's Proposition 8.
[Editor's note: As originally posted, Colin Powell was misidentified as fomer secretary of defense.]
Watch the new ad here: