Freedom to Marry Launches National TV Ad Featuring Former GOP Senator

4/8/2014

In ad, Sen. Alan Simpson says, “Whether you’re gay or lesbian or straight, if you love someone and you want to marry them, marry them.”

New York – As federal appeals courts begin to hear marriage cases across the country, Freedom to Marry released a national television ad featuring former U.S. Senator Alan Simpson. Simpson, a Republican, represented Wyoming for 18 years and held senior leadership positions. In the 30-second ad, the senator makes the conservative case for the freedom to marry based on individual liberty and a live-and-let-live philosophy. The ad begins airing on April 8 on national cable and network Sunday political shows in Washington, D.C., and in Colorado, Oklahoma, and Wyoming markets.

“Speaking as a conservative, a lifelong Republican, and a son of the West, Senator Simpson talks of his values of freedom and limited government and the joy of marriage,” said Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry. “The ad shows the bipartisan momentum for the freedom to marry. And recent rulings against marriage discrimination by nine out of nine federal district judges show the legal trajectory of our campaign: toward more freedom, more dignity, and more families enjoying equality under the law."

A poll last month by the Washington Post/ABC News showed 59% of those in the West support marriage for gay couples. The same poll showed 40% of Republicans in favor, while a recent New York Times/CBS News poll found that a 56% majority of Republicans under the age of 45 support the freedom to marry.

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals begins hearing oral arguments in the Utah case on Thursday. This marks the first marriage case to be heard by an appellate court since the landmark Supreme Court ruling in United States vs. Windsor last year. Three other circuits will hear arguments in freedom to marry cases over the next several months.

The ad can be viewed here and a transcript follows.

“I was raised here, Cody, Wyoming. It was a town of western values; independence, freedom. I’m a Republican and the Party’s basic core is government out of your life and the right to be left alone. Whether you’re gay or lesbian or straight, if you love someone, and you want to marry them, marry them. I have had a wonderful married life, why shouldn’t somebody else have the joy of marriage. Live and let live. It is very simple.”

In February, Sen. Simpson signed a friend-of-the-court brief with 20 other prominent Western Republicans. The brief noted that “marriage is strengthened and its benefits, importance to society, and the social stability of the family unit are promoted” by allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry. The briefs can be found at 10thcircuit.org.

Freedom to Marry will host a media conference call with Wolfson and George W. Bush advisor Mark McKinnon today at 11:30 a.m. EST / 9:30 a.m. MT. They will discuss the upcoming federal court hearings on the Utah and Oklahoma marriage cases, the status of marriage litigation across the country, and the ad.

Call-in details: US toll free number: 1-888-339-2688, Participant passcode: 67991051

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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.