Marriage inequality harms children. Obvious to most readers here, I imagine—but the right-wing has long owned the “best interests of the children” argument in advertising and media. Now, however, one LGBT advocacy coalition is taking back that argument, in hopes of defeating yet another state constitutional ban of relationship recognition for same-sex couples, this time Amendment One in North Carolina.
Back in 2008, when LGBT advocates in California fought unsuccessfully to defeat the passage of Proposition 8, I called LGBT parents “the forgotten voices of Prop 8.” I noted that the No On 8 campaign (the pro-equality coalition), “chose to reach out to straight parents with ads that featured other straight parents,” and assured parents Prop 8 “has nothing to do with schools.” They focused on the lack of harm that marriage equality would cause the children of straight parents—an important message, but one that might also lead straight parents to believe their children would be fine whether Prop 8 passed or not.
Protect All NC Families, however, has released a new television ad (below) in which lesbian mom Melissa talks of the harm Amendment One would do to her five-year-old daughter. Melissa’s partner Libby works for the City of Durham, and under Durham’s domestic partnership benefits plan, she provides health insurance to both Melissa and their daughter. The couple fears their child will lose her health insurance if Amendment One passes. The ad features the adorable girl front and center.
It’s a great ad that directly addresses the point I made more than three years ago in my column (though I claim no credit for Protect All NC Families’ move):
As the battle moves forward, we must remember how important it will be to reach out to parents, not only to say, “LGBT equality won’t harm your children” but also to insist, “LGBT inequality will harm our children, your children’s classmates and friends.”
The ad, along with another one featuring a straight, unmarried survivor of domestic abuse, will run in the Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh television markets until Election Day on May 8.