Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
November 25, 2012

Marriage Equality: Not on Defense Anymore

I’m fascinated by this screenshot from the new marriage equality ad narrated by Morgan Freeman. Several couples are profiled but this is the only family.To the extent the family is white, sporting a dog and posing on the front porch of what could be any middle-class home in America USA, I would have said the aim was to make gay marriage and child rearing look as traditionally American as possible.

With the inclusion of the Asian child standing out in the bright red shirt, however, I think the message is a lot bolder. It infers that gay marriage, as well as what constitutes an American family today, is often diverse on multiple levels. Assuming the child is adopted, the scene also endorses the desirability of gay parents raising children in any situation, including an elective one.  If an ad for gay marriage might have been just seeking a basic acceptability, this scene goes confidently beyond that.

(screenshot: Human Rights Campaign Media)

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