For the Holidays, Freedom to Marry Lights Up Times Square with Message of Love

11/8/2013

Press Contact:
Angela Dallara
Media Relations Manager, Freedom to Marry
angela@freedomtomarry.org
646-430-3925

New York – Celebrating a year of big wins and marking the need to finish the job, Freedom to Marry today announced a new video billboard titled “Love for Everyone” featuring three diverse same-sex families and a message of love and commitment. The billboard will display in Times Square throughout the holiday season up until January 4, 2014. More than 1.5 million people pass through Times Square daily.

“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,” said Michael Crawford, Freedom to Marry’s digital director. “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 multimedia ad, which appears once every hour in a rotation, appears on the corner of 42nd Street between 7th and 8th Avenues and can be viewed online here.

The first family featured is Gail Marquis and Audrey Smaltz, who have also appeared in a video co-produced by Freedom to Marry and the Devotion Project. 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. The second family is Yohandel Ruiz and Daniel Zavala, a binational couple whose story was highlighted by The DOMA Project. In the photograph, they are holding hands on their wedding day in Washington, DC with the Capitol towering behind them. Yohandel and Daniel currently live in Florida, where the state fails to recognize their marriage. The third photograph features Natalie Fox and Leah Nichols giving a kiss to their son Hayes. They both grew up in Alabama and recently moved to Louisiana. Neither their old home nor their new home allows them the freedom to marry.

The stories highlight the different levels of uncertainty faced by same-sex couples across the country who want to marry. Gail and Audrey receive all the protections of marriage in both states they call home. Daniel and Yohandel are legally married, but their marriage is not recognized in the state where they are building their family. Natalie and Leah are unable to marry in either the old or new state they call home.

Under the three respective clips are the subheadings “Marriage is Love,” “Marriage is Commitment,” and “Marriage is Family.” The final slide ends with a simple phrase: “Love for Everyone: Join the Campaign” with the link to Freedom to Marry’s website, www.freedomtomarry.org.

The ad will appear through January 4, 2014.

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Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage nationwide. We are pursuing our Roadmap to Victory by working to win the freedom to marry in more states, grow the national majority for marriage, and end federal marriage discrimination. We partner with individuals and organizations across the country to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage and the protections, responsibilities, and commitment that marriage brings.