‘Be­yond I Do’ cam­paign pushes bound­aries for LGBT equal­ity

Wisconsin Gazette - - Editorial -

Mega-donor Tim Gill has be­come one of the na­tion’s lead­ing phi­lan­thropists for LGBTQ causes, spend­ing tens of mil­lions of dol­lars from his soft­ware-com­pany for­tune. One of his pri­or­i­ties now is to move be­yond “the easy states” and build new al­liances in Repub­li­can-con­trolled states that could pave the way for non-dis­crim­i­na­tion laws.

Gill’s Den­ver-based foun­da­tion is help­ing bankroll a na­tional cam­paign by the Ad Coun­cil, known for iconic pub­lic ser­vice ad cam­paigns in­clud­ing Smokey the Bear and “Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk.”

Called “Be­yond I Do,” it makes the point that while same-sex mar­riage is now le­gal na­tion­wide, LGBT peo­ple still face le­gal dis­crim­i­na­tion in a ma­jor­ity of states — in­clud­ing be­ing evicted, fired or de­nied ser­vices.

Only 19 states — mostly Demo­cratic strongholds — of­fer com­pre­hen­sive nondis­crim­i­na­tion pro­tec­tions for gays, les­bians and trans­gen­der peo­ple.

The new ad cam­paign is pro­jected to get at least $15 mil­lion in do­nated me­dia sup­port — in­clud­ing TV and ra­dio time, and bill­board space.

Among the peo­ple fea­tured in more than 20 sto­ries and video spots are a Michi­gan cou­ple who said a pe­di­a­tri­cian re­fused to treat their new­born daugh­ter be­cause of ob­jec­tions to their same-sex mar­riage, and an Ohio woman who says she was fired as a teacher be­cause she is a les­bian.

“We have to make new and dif­fer­ent friends,” Gill said. “Ul­ti­mately a fed­eral so­lu­tion is bet­ter, but it al­ways comes af­ter the states have demon­strated the need.”

— AP

IMAGES: AD COUN­CIL

“Be­yond I Do” makes the point that while same-sex mar­riage is now le­gal na­tion­wide, LGBT peo­ple still face le­gal dis­crim­i­na­tion in a ma­jor­ity of states — in­clud­ing be­ing evicted, fired or de­nied ser­vices.

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