Freedom to Marry and Equality Florida launch ad calling for marriage nationwide

Today, Equality Florida, in partnership with Freedom to Marry, released a television ad arguing for marriage for all loving, committed couples. 

The ad features George Smith, a 79-year-old Air Force veteran, and the father of Equality Florida's CEO, Nadine Smith. George Smith speaks of his journey to understanding his daughter:

When I tried to marry my wife Maureen in 1956, they assumed that she was white. There were many states that we couldn’t live. I said well what right have they to tell me who I can marry? When I found out Nadine was gay, I was disappointed....The attitude that I had was the same attitude that the people who tried to discourage me from getting married in 1956. Let people get married, man!

This month marks the 48th anniversary of the United States Supreme Court's ruling in Loving v. Virginia, which, in 1967, declared bans on interracial marriage in the United States unconstitutional. George Smith and his family hope that, this year, the same Court will rule to end marriage discrimination against same-sex couples, as well.

Marc Solomon, national campaign director for Freedom to Marry, explained the huge significance of the Supreme Court taking up the issue of the freedom to marry this summer:

This ad is an important part of our ongoing work to tell the stories of same-sex couples and why marriage matters to them. As George rightly says in the ad, family is everything. Tens of thousands of same-sex couples are raising children and building families across America who still don't have the protections of marriage. It's time for the Supreme Court to finish the job, do the right thing, and make the freedom to marry the law of the land.

Nadine Smith noted the similarities of her family's story and the stories of thousands of same-sex couples who face marriage bans across the country:

I am excited my father chose to share his personal story of coming to accept and support me in my marriage. I am reminded that his journey was not easy, but was propelled by his deep sense of love and family and justice. Ultimately, my family’s story echoes those of families across the state who have come to support the freedom to marry and helped to push support for marriage in Florida to an all-time high.

The freedom to marry came to Florida in January of this year, when the stay on a previous ruling in favor of marriage expired. Even as an appeal in the 11th Court Circuit of Appeals proceeds, same-sex couples across Florida have been getting married. Although all loving, committed families are now respected in the Sunshine State, this ad calls for a nationwide victory for the freedom to marry.

Watch the full ad below: