This commercial helped to pass the nation's first civil union legislation. The Governor who at first warned me not to run a TV commercial, later congratulated me on my professional presentation and thanked me for handling the issue the way I did.
This was part of a radio advertising campaign featuring Vermont families with same sex couples. These were very successful in making the "gay" issue a non issue.
Vermont Civil Union was actually a collective of 3 different gay rights groups in Vermont. They each had a different agenda, different leadership, and different budgets. They asked me to help them all get a single message out so that they had a chance of getting this legislation passed. This legislation they were talking about was huge. Everyone was talking about it. The anti-gay groups were already clogging the airwaves and newspapers with all kinds of nasty stuff. It was a huge fight I honestly didn't think I could win.
I did it anyway. I love a challenge and relished the thought of punching those anti-gay bullies in the nose. In the anti-gay advertising, they were being portrayed as perverts, different from us "normal" people. I countered that by creating newspaper ads and radio commercials that ran all over the state telling voters that gay people were just like everyone else. I told stories about their families and their lives in Vermont. Gave the issue a name and a face.
One of the last things I created was a TV commercial (see above). Just before production, I was contacted by the Governor's office stating his concern. At that point in the campaign, things were getting ugly with the anti-gay groups and he didn't want to make things worse. I assured them my TV commercial, like the newspaper and radio commercials, would support my ongoing message of family.
Against anti-gay competition that spent twice what we did on advertising, the legislation passed, giving same-sex couples the right to have a civil union for the first time in American history.
"My goal is to help your business grow by providing honest advice that really works. I won't ask you to do anything I'm not convinced is exactly what you need. I won't try to sell you anything."