New ad highlights why marriage matters to all families in Oklahoma

Today, Freedom to Marry and Freedom Oklahoma launched a new 30-second television ad that will run across the state for the next week.

The ad features the Cuyler family and focuses on Ed Cuyler, a retired Army colonel who served in the Army for 12 years, with 22 years in the Army reserves. He has received a Purple Heart and the Distinguished Flying Cross for rescuing five soldiers. He and his wife, Robbie, have been married for 36 years.

In the TV spot, Ed talks about why marriage matters to his daughter Deedra and her partner Amber, who are raising three young children in Lawton, a rural town about two hours south of Oklahoma City. Ed explains:

Here in Oklahoma, we value family. When Deedra told me she was gay, as her dad, I was worried because I wanted to protect her. When Deedra met Amber, I realized she could have a family. Only marriage means the ability to take care of your family.

Deedra, Amber and their children live on the same 17-acre ranch with Ed and Robbie. They are lifelong Oklahomans, and they need their state to respect their marriage license - which they received in Massachusetts - to ensure that their family is just as protected as any other family in the Sooner State.

Across the state, Oklahomans have been engaged in a thoughtful and productive discussion about the freedom to marry, sparked by momentum for marriage this year in the courts: In January, a federal judge ruled in favor of the freedom to marry in Bishop v. Smith, and last month, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in the case. A ruling is expected in this case - and a similar 10th Circuit case from Utah - within a few months. 

Freedom to Marry has been proud to work this year with The Equality Network to launch Freedom Oklahoma, the campaign to amplify the conversation about why marriage matters in the Sooner State. This TV ad, funded and produced by Freedom to Marry, is one strategy for moving marriage forward in the state. 

Learn more about Freedom Oklahoma HERE