Freedom to Marry Airs TV Ad Featuring Purple Heart Recipient and Vietnam Veteran

5/5/2014

Ad comes as 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Considers OK Case

New York -- Today Freedom to Marry and Freedom Oklahoma released a statewide television ad featuring Ed Cuyler, a retired Army colonel, and his wife Robbie talking about their lesbian daughter Deedra and their support for marriage. The ad will run statewide for a week beginning today and can be found here: www.FreedomOklahoma.org/ad

Deedra and her spouse Amber are lifelong Oklahomans raising 15-month-old twin daughters and a three-year-old son in rural Lawton, two hours south of Oklahoma City. They married in Massachusetts but their marriage is not respected in their home state of Oklahoma. Among the many hardships, it means that Deedra is unable to include Amber on her health plan. Deedra has worked for 24 years at a tire factory in Lawton, never once having taken a sick day.

Deedra, Amber and their three young children live on the same 17-acre ranch as Deedra's father Ed and his wife, Robbie. Ed Cuyler is a 12-year Army veteran. In Vietnam and Cambodia, he flew Cobra helicopters and Chinooks, receiving a Purple Heart and the Distinguished Flying Cross for rescuing five soldiers who had been shot down. He and his wife have been married for 36 years.

The transcript of the 30-second spot appears below:

"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.

Why shouldn't they know the love we had all these years?

As a veteran, I know freedom means freedom for everyone; and no family should be denied a basic freedom.

Marriage enhances our community and makes families stronger."

Oklahoma is part of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, the first appellate court to hear an oral argument on marriage for same-sex couples since the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark decision in U.S. v. Windsor last year. In April, Freedom to Marry aired a national television ad featuring former Republican U.S. Senator Alan Simpson of Wyoming.

###
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.