Freedom to Marry lights up Times Square for the holidays with message of love

Over the next two months, Freedom to Marry is celebrating a huge year of victories - including 7 state wins, 2 favorable rulings at the Supreme Court, and more momentum than ever - with a new video billboard in New York City. The billboard sends a message that love - and marriage - are for everyone, and will be displayed in the heart of Times Square throughout the holiday season. More than 1.5 million people pass through Times Square each day. 

Michael Crawford, Digital Director of Freedom to Marry, explained the heart of the video campaign. He said:

With the rapidly expanding importance of digital technology and new media, Freedom to Marry is using every opportunity to communicate our message of fairness for all committed couples and their families. We’re excited to reach millions of Americans through a unique platform, at a time of year when all of us have love and family on our minds. There’s no better place to draw attention to the freedom to marry – and get more people on the right side of history – than among the visitors from all over the world in the heart of Times Square, in the heart of a freedom to marry state.

The ten-second ad, which appears once every hour in a rotation, appears on the corner of 42nd Street between 7th and 8th Avenues. Here's the clip:

Three amazing families are featured in the clip. Here's some back story on each couple, who are facing different levels of uncertainty on marriage. While Gail and Audrey receive all of the protections of marriage in both of the states they call home, Daniel and Yohandel are legally married and receive federal marriage protections, but no state protections in Florida. Natalie and Leah are unable to marry in the state they call home. Here's a closer look:

  • Gail Marquis and Audrey Smaltz: Gail, a former professional basketball player who won a silver medal in the 1976 Olympics, and Audrey, a former model and fashion editor, have been together for 14 years and married in November 2011. They split their time between their homes in New York and New Jersey, two states with the freedom to marry. Gail and Audrey appeared in a video co-produced by Freedom to Marry and The Devotion Project. 
  • Yohandel Ruiz and Daniel Zavala: Daniel and Yohandel are a binational couple whose story was highlighted by The DOMA Project. Yohandel and Daniel currently live in Florida, where the state fails to recognize their marriage from Washington, DC. They shared their story in a moving video from The DOMA Project.
  • Natalie Fox and Leah Nichols: Together for over seven years, Natalie and Leah live in New Orleans, LA with their son Hayes. They both grew up and fell in love in Alabama and need the freedom to marry to protect their family. They shared their story with Freedom to Marry earlier this year. 

The message of love will appear on the billboard through January 4, 2014.