"It's Time" Ad Helps Gay Marriage Activism Go Viral


An ad titled It’s Time released by GetUp!, an Australian grass-roots community advocacy organization, is refreshing and necessary in a time when four U.S. presidential candidates have signed a pledge against gay marriage.

The ad shows a love story from the perspective of a man. Only at the end of the advertisement does the viewer learn that this story is between two men. GetUp! was using the ad to lobby the controlling Australian Labor Party (ALP) to support gay marriage. It has become globally viral touching people with 3.5 million views and a movement to have the advertisement played in the U.S., possibly during the Super Bowl.

Contrary to popular efforts in the LGBT movement for gay marriage, this advertisement does not seek to make the claim that the LGBT community is ostracizing or different. The pop icon Lady Gaga recently announced the formation of her Born This Way Foundation in partner with prestigious institutions such as the MacArthur Foundation and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society. Named after the artist’s song, this foundation seeks to empower youth and encourage individuality. A powerful message indeed, but the brilliance in GetUp!’s advertisement is the simplicity in showing that homosexual love is just like any other. GetUp! calls the advertisement a "modern love story." The least important aspect of the narrative is that it is two men; it could be a heterosexual or lesbian couple and still have the same power.

This ad focuses on a homosexual relationship that anyone who is fortunate to fall in love and want a commitment would be able to relate, similar to The Kids Are All Right. The New York Times reviewed this film calling the depicted family "a picture of normalcy." While these two pieces of media may dismay some of the LBGT community by defining a homosexual relationship in a hetero-normative manner of "normal," the truth of the matter is that The Kids Are All Right and It’s Time emphasize the core of the gay movement: freedom. The freedom to love the person you are with as an individual or like anyone else.

Fortunately, the ALP took a step towards allowing this freedom by redefining their policy platform on marriage to extend it to same-sex couples. Although the declaration was bittersweet as they also announced that they are allowing Labor members to make a "conscience vote" on the matter, meaning they do not have to vote with the views of the party. This only highlights that there is more work to be done, but the popularity and mainstream message of the advertisement is a positive step towards ending marriage discrimination in the world. 

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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Todd Elfman

Todd Elfman is about to graduate from the University of St Andrews in Scotland, UK studying Management and History of Art originally from Cambridge, USA.

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