If Grandpa Was a Girl...

Here's the new ad by the folks who forced the civil unions and marriage ban onto the ballot.

Again, we see a message that deliberately tries to confuse voters into thinking this is a vote on whether to legalize marriage for gay couples.

The concept is interesting, but I'm not sure it works. To me it seems over the top and unbelievable. It also seems strange to make child actors say these things.

Why do they have a kid talking about if his grandpa was a girl? Does this work?

What do you think?

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At 9:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh my lord, who would let their kids be in an ad like that?

keep up the good work y'all.

At 10:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

if grandpa was a girl, then she'd be grandma.

i'm still voting no.

At 11:24 AM, Anonymous Parker said...

I am appaled at this commercial. I come from a family with 10 children. I would hope that parents would be smarter than to let their child be in a commercial like that. It's like plastering kids with "god hates ****" t shirts and making them walk around. They don't know what they are doing, their parents are just using them as advertising space. It's absolutely attrocious.

At 11:38 AM, Blogger Marlin said...

It's time to put some of OUR kids on TV to bring home the point that (and I hope I remember this correctly) one out of every three Wisconsin lesbian couples have dependent children, and one out of every five Wisconsin gay male couples have dependent children. Then let them innocently ask why some people want to screw up (or prevent) their family's healthcare coverage. I'll give you permission to use some of my monetary contributions to Fair Wisconsin for just such a purpose.

At 12:16 PM, Blogger Kevin said...

Remember...Fair Wisconsin already has a counter commercial out there. It shows a beautiful farm country with the word NO on the screen.

We need to keep pushing that gay marriage is already illegal. And we need to remind people that if they are in favor of civil unions and/or domestic partnerships, they need to vote no.

This ad is totally missing the point of what the amendment is about. I would love to see Fair Wisconsin's ad positioned right behind this ad.

At 12:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This ad is ineffective. Fair Wisconsin's message is already embedded within the Wisconsin mindset. This ad will not sway those who are educated on this issue.

At 3:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The ad is inappropriate and creepy. What its sponsors don't yet know is that those children will grow up to be far more open and accepting than their parents' and grandparents' generations. It's just too bad that they're being exploited while they're too young to understand.

At 5:47 PM, Anonymous keith said...

What's the farm country NO ad? And what's the radio ad with the "silence" that is confusing the people I've been talking to? Can you post the ads on the web site? I see only the "Lynn", "What 1 2 3", "Ballot" and "Wordplay".

At 5:58 PM, Anonymous keith said...

The hardest thing I find about thinking about ads? For those of us who are deeply familiar with the issues around the debate, it always seems like a no brainer. We assume that everyone knows a lot about the amendment, like Coleman reminds us in his Hopeful post.

But I have found, during the last few weeks, that some people are more and more confused. And other people are bored.

The confused folk still think it's all about gay marriage. Some think that a YES vote will be a vote to legalize marriage rights.

The bored folks (who are from our base, ladies and gentlemen!) think that a YES vote is meaningless, because nothing will happen.

Although I wonder about this odd YES ad, I understand its usefulness to the YES folks. It's about fear. Getting someone to vote YES means convincing them that something awful will happen if the amendment doesn't go through. Grandpa's gender re-asignment surgery is really far-fetched, but that is EXACTLY THE POINT. Icky! Icky! Icky!

Conversely, I think our counter-ad, if we had the money and time to produce one, should play the same Rove-esque game.


If the amendment passes, YOU WILL BE WRITTEN OUT OF THE WILL.

If the amendment passes, YOUR TAXES WILL GO UP.

If the amendment passes, THE TERRORISTS WILL HAVE WON.

You get the point.

At 6:40 PM, Blogger Jenn said...

I find this ad encouraging. After all, they had months to design the spot and this is the best they came up with! Undecideds and No voters will see right through this atrocity and Yes voters...well, they're not listening anyway.

At 6:48 PM, Anonymous Maria said...

This ad is disturbing. These poor kids. The only good thing is that hopefully this means that the yes supporters are getting worried...

At 8:14 PM, Anonymous peter said...

Remember, folks, there's no way the "yes" people would waste their time with this poorly conceived ad at the eleventh hour if they didn't think they were in danger of losing. We had the upper hand in conveying our message about eight months ago.

Keep spreading hope and good will; that is the best way to trump fear.

At 8:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This ad has befuddled me, it is very stupid.

At 10:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Remember...Fair Wisconsin already has a counter commercial out there. It shows a beautiful farm country with the word NO on the screen."

I don't like this one. At all.
Sounds like we are against gay marriage, and I agree it is confusing to the voters.

We can be against this amendment and still be in support of gay marriage, right? People, I think, are taking that ad as "if you're against gay marriage, you vote no" and then are confused who is sponsoring it. Like they are being tricked. Unless that was the idea, to pick up some of those votes. I wish we didn't have to stoop to that, but I guess we do, like the one with the farmer explaining he was raised to think gay marriage was wrong but "leave them alone, leave me alone".

I don't think these ads are so sophisticated or supportive as we like to think, but it's political survival you are thinking of, and strategy, I suppose on the advice of paid ad professionals.

At 7:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate to tell you this but, as repulsive as this ad is, it's effective in places like Green Bay.

Believe me, I know how alot of people are up there and I know what they are hearing in their churches.

They are confused and this will push them right over to "yes".

At 8:43 AM, Anonymous Doris said...

I disagree with 7:15 anonymous. The ad works to reaffirm the already held beliefs of "yes" voters; it doesn't target undecideds.

Fair Wisconsin has done a wonderful job targeting undecideds -- those opposed to civil marriage equality who can still be persuaded to vote "no."

At 11:26 AM, Anonymous CMcD said...

I see 7:15's point, and know the ad will be effective with a certain segment of the population. i also know that the people I've spoken with about this ad are horrified, and are not so naive as to believe that the side that will exploit children is necessarily the same side that has the best interests of Wisconsin families at heart. This ad can really work in our favor - it's a great place to start the conversation, and I plan to use it to do so between now and Tuesday.

At 12:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we need to blitz. I listened briefly to WVCY a day or two ago and they are blasting away at us. If they get the right wing religious people to swarm to the polls, we will be in trouble. They are good at that. Remember, they operate from FEAR, not from reason or a sense of justice. You get enough people afraid of something and you can win.

At 1:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

McCarthyism is apparently still alive. So I guess it's fair to quote the man who brought down McCarthy.

"Little did I dream you could be so reckless and cruel as to do an injury to that lad... You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?"

At 1:39 PM, Anonymous Dennis Gunderson said...

300 good people in Richland Center, Boscobel and Muscoda have endorsed a simple statement in opposition to the amendment. It appears today in the Shopper, and Thursday in the Richland Observer and Boscobel Dial - Full Pages all, with our names.
We mean to be heard.

At 7:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it is unfortunate that everyone viewing this ad at this site is soooooo naive. This is a VERY EFFECTIVE AD! It is brilliant. "Out of the mouths of babes.." can come anything at all, no matter how extreme, and no one can argue. I have volunteered many hours and donated many dollars to Fair Wisconsin, but for all the work that has been done....EVERY SINGLE POLL shows this amendment passing. I hate it. You hate it. But this ad helps ensure it. The only hope is that the vote is far closer than it has been in other states where it passed by over 60% generally. I do not decry the great effort that has gone into this important effort, but the folks who have led this campaign have not listened to their troops at every turn. They have recruited out of state help from folks who think they know better than Wisconsinites how to move our voters. I cried so hard when a gay parent told me how disappointed he was to be asked over and over again to deny his true feelings -- in order to win, he was told, don't say you want to get married. Tell people you accept that current law prohibits it and focus (i.e. divert) their attention to the second sentence, blah, blah, blah.
Frankly, I would almost have rather lost big, than to have tried to win on lies or half-truths -- we want gay and lesbian marriage equality. Evan Wolfson has fought hard to win what we are politicizing away from.
I will still vote NO of course, and I pray many others do as well. But I am a veteran of many, many campaigns (all of which I was on the winning side for), and I am just so hurt by the FW leadership's glaring shortcomings on this effort -- not a lack of heart or energy to be sure, just simple political savvy.
And again, WOW this is a good ad -- well captured by (sickeningly) impressionable children -- but incredibly effective.

At 9:03 AM, Anonymous quilly said...

Last Anon,

Let's keep our eyes on the prize! We're not voting to legalize gay marriage or any facsimile. We're voting on the language given in the amendment, which is overly broad and an overreach of governmental power. It's a little odd for me, as I suppose it is for you, to fight to uphold the status quo, but that's what we're doing.

I think the FW folks have done a GREAT job keeping focus on what the amendment actually says. Win or lose, I'm immeasurably grateful for all the hard work that has been put into this campaign. It's because of FW that there's even a chance of this amendment being defeated.

At 8:36 PM, Blogger georgia said...

Quilly, I cannot agree with you more.

Whatever way a person votes, gay marriage will still remain illegal. It is the second sentence that is so damaging. Unfortunately, the opposition can only use the fear card – and make people THINK that marriage will change if they vote NO. The second sentence is not even being addressed by the opposition except when they want to scare people into thinking that activist judges will change everything – forgetting that our judges are elected – not appointed.

I applaud the FW folks for their hard work, determination and energizing attitudes. I must admit that when I am down and think that we are going to lose, all I need do is come to the FW site and see all of the great work that is going on – and will continue to go on even after we defeat this amendment on November 7th!

Now, we must all do our part in these last few days to help in any way we can, be it monetary, volunteering to do what the FW staff needs for us to do and especially getting out and voting NO!

If I happen to win the Lottery, I plan to send all of the FW staff and their partners/spouses on a cruise – they need a vacation! Now, all I have to do is remember to buy a lottery ticket…<:o)

At 11:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sad hearing some of the comments. Yes, gay marriage is the ultimate goal. But this fight is not about gaining gay marriage. This fight is about having it forever prohibited in the Wisconsin state constitution. No one who wants gay marriage should be afraid to state their views as the ultimate goal, but to lament the way in which we are trying to get fair-minded Wisconsinites to vote no to the constitutional prohibition is short-sighted. We currently have to fight the battle we are in, no matter what the next battle may be. I think the tactics for winning this battle have been superb, although I agree with the writer who said the YES people's use of child actors is a superb counter-attack. If this is their only ad, then they put their dollars into something effective. The kids are cute and what they say (except for one who mumbles) is psychologically appealing----namely, we can't hurt these kids by voting NO. I know some people who think a NO vote will establish gay marriage and frankly they are naively wrong. A NO vote will keep the ban out of the constitution and leave us able to seek a legislative or judicial remedy in Wisconsin at a later date. We have to move one step at a time and win the battle we are currently fighting. The strategic objective is gay marriage, but the tactical battle now is the amendment.

At 12:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a former advertising guy, I agree this ad is very effective. It wll get grandparents voting who might not have gone to the polls otherwise.

A similar ad with children for No would have to be very smart to work. Very smart. I've been pleased to see the TV ads that I have, and their quality has been good. They could have been a whole lot better. I sure hope they were market-tested first. I haven't seen any ads showing straight people with threatened domestic partnerships. Those would have been the most effective probably--I hope they ran some somewhere....

LOGO just ran a news spot saying poll numbers in four of the eight states with anti gay marriage amendments have encouraging numbers. The reporter said that one of the states might actually be able to defeat the amendment, but she did not name the state. Then she gave details of the extensive volunteer and fundraising effort in Wisconsin. The impression I got was that Wisconsin is now the last great hope.

One of the reasons I moved to Wisconsin was because of its antidiscrimination laws. I will be so ashamed if this passes.

At 12:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a transsexual woman I am familiar with such sentiments as "what if grandpa was a girl?" Statements like these are gender baiting, pure and simple. I think most people of good conscience will look at this ad and say "What the **** is this?"

But unfortunately people hate people like me (and you) and to them it’s another reason to vote yes. Because many on the side of the opposition cannot see the difference between a gay man and a transsexual woman, we’re all queer to them. And TS women are the queerest of the queer to them. What a better way the scare people? Roll out the transsexuals, or allude to us in any case. It’s so Springeresque. So tacky. People eat it up though and the haters just love it.

I’m personally appalled by the ad, but it doesn’t surprise me. After all it’s my daily world being seen as an “oddity”. A rainbow person in a black and white world if you will, fighting for the right to exist in a world that doesn’t posses the language to even describe me accurately.

The very fact that they are using children to promote hate speech is even more disturbing.
What other lies are they filling these kids’ heads with? It makes one shudder to think of it. They will stop at nothing to win!

Transsexual Wisconsinites are involved in the fight to stop this amendment and in many LGBT organizations around the state. Please don't forget us after we beat this thing. And we WILL beat this thing. We need you and you need us. We all need each other.

We transsexual people are currently absent from our state laws barring discrimination against gay and lesbian people. It is my great hope that when all the dust settles we can get around to working on this issue and many others that have been put on hold to keep this amendment from smearing our constitution.

Civil rights for gay and lesbian people are no doubt important and should be fought for, but please don’t leave transgender and transsexual people behind after this battle is over.

Transsexual people are here, we are helping in this fight, and we stand with a multi cultural coalition to stop discrimination from being enshrined in our constitution.

Bless you all for speaking up and turning back this tide of hatred.

-Renee Simousek



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