Do gay political ads have to say “gay”?

I don’t really get the argument that ads about gay political issues have to necessarily say the word “gay.” There’s been some recent criticism of the “No on 8” campaign in California, they’re the folks trying to stop the Mormons from repealing gay marriages in California. Some criticism is probably merited, simply because the No on 8 folks went from a good lead to now being behind. But, as I mentioned, we can thank for the Mormons for that one. They dumped millions in to California to bash t the gays, like they do in so many states. And the Mormon gay-bashing helped a lot. But there’s another criticism: That the No on 8 people don’t say the word “gay” in some of their ads, and that they aren’t showing enough gay people.

Now, were the criticism based on the efficacy of the ads, I’d say it’s a valid point to raise. But then you’d have to explain why you think saying “gay” more often, and showing more gay people, would necessarily translate into more votes for our side. What I don’t understand, however, is the argument that we per se should say gay-gay-gay in every ad we do on our issues. Honestly, you could talk about the Easter Bunny for all I care, if it means helping us win at the ballot. When someone is running a campaign to beat a ballot initiative, their goal is to beat the initiative, not join in some cumbaya group hug that has nothing to do with winning the election.

But that’s my opinion. Curious what the rest of you think? Should the No on 8 campaign mention gays, and show gay people in its ads, simply in order to be “inclusive,” regardless of the impact on the campaign? And the same question, phrased a different way: Is it okay to downplay the “gay” side of a gay issue if it helps us win?


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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