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ACLU urges Republicans to come ‘Out for Freedom’


The American Civil Liberties Union has launched the “Out for Freedom” campaign with ads in The Wall Street Journal and on conservative websites that encourage Republicans to join the marriage equality effort.

The ad launch follows the historic Supreme Court decisions on the federal Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8 anti-gay amendment.

“We are going to bring Republicans into the ever-increasing groundswell of support for the freedom to marry,” said ACLU executive director Anthony D. Romero. “Today begins the next step in the movement for full marriage equality for all Americans, and we need everyone, including Republicans, ‘at the party’ for freedom and fairness.”

A full-page color ad in the Wall Street Journal features states attending a party, with a door staffed by Republican elephants. Inside the party are the 13 states with marriage equality, including a newly-arrived California, while the 37 others wait impatiently outside. The ad urges Republicans to come out for freedom, joining other prominent conservatives who support all Americans’ freedom to marry. The initial online ad buy includes The Wall Street Journal’s web site as well as conservative online hub DailyCaller.com.

The ACLU recently hired Edelman’s Steve Schmidt, who held prominent roles in Geoge W. Bush’s 2004 campaign and John McCain’s 2008 campaign to spearhead the Out for Freedom campaign. GOProud.org founder Jimmy LaSalvia has been recruited to lead outreach efforts to gay conservatives and tea party supporters.

“The Republican party stands for freedom, for limited government intrusion in our personal lives,” said Schmidt. “The issue of marriage equality is the Republican Party’s best chance to stand on the right side of history, create a meaningful legacy of fairness, and maintain relevance with young voters. I am proud to help the ACLU make all couples equal in the eyes of the law in all 50 states.”

The ads were designed by Purpose, an agency with offices in New York, London and Rio de Janeiro.

The Out for Freedom campaign, over the next four years, will focus on advancing marriage legislation in Illinois, New Jersey, Hawaii and other states, and challenge constitutional bans on marriage for same-sex couples in Oregon, Nevada and elsewhere.

The ACLU aims to spend roughly $10 million through 2016.

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