A new cross party and cross media campaign, Out4Marriage.org, to support changing the law to allow gay couples to marry has launched to help spread the message that most people in Britain and indeed the Western world, are happy to “come Out4Marriage“.
Out4Marriage is modeled on the hugely successful ‘It Gets Better’ YouTube project launched by the US agony uncle Dan Savage, where politicians, celebrities and members of the public gave hope to teenagers coming to terms with their sexuality.
Over the coming weeks, videos from high profile UK politicians from all political parties and global A-list celebrities will be published online. Each video will allow the politician or celebrity to explain why they’re “coming out for marriage” and will ask viewers to join them too. It is aimed that although launched from the UK, the campaign will spread globally to ensure gay couples around the world have the same rights to marry as straight couples.
The project was conceived by PinkNews.co.uk founder Benjamin Cohen and Mike Buonaiuto, the director of the Coalition for Equal Marriage viral video. It is ‘powered by’ the PinkNews.co.uk and the digital agency Remarkable. An ever growing global team of volunteers are helping to recruit new video makers, moderate submissions and engage with politicians.
As well as by PinkNews, Out4Marriage has been backed by the largest names in UK LGBT media already including Attitude, Gaydar, GT (Gay Times), PinkPaper, Diva, Boyz, QX Magazine, Gay Star News and SoSoGay with US partners to be announced shortly.
In her video, the UK Minister for Equality, Lynne Featherstone MP said: “I think its just amazing that people love each other enough to commit to a lifelong vow, ‘till death do them part’. That should be exactly the same whether you’re straight or gay and that’s why I’m Out4Marriage.”
In her video, UK’s Shadow Home Secretary and Shadow Minister for Equality Yvette Cooper MP said: “People who love each other and who want to make a long term commitment to each other should be able to get married the state and society should value that long term commitment and celebrate it.”
Ms Cooper also called on the Government to allow churches and other religious institutions to be able to hold same sex marriage services too, should they wish to. The Government is currently not planning to allow them to.
Another video was made by the grandparents of Channel 4 News technology correspondent and PinkNews founder Benjamin Cohen. 82-year-old David Green said: “We have four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Two of our grandchildren are happily married. One of our grandchildren, should the occasion arise, I’m sure would like to get married but under the present law he would be unable to because he’s gay.” 81-year-old Norma Green added: “We think the law should be changed so to allow gays or straights to be married with the same rights as a straight couple.”
Other launch videos have been posted by Liberal Democrat MP Stephen Gilbert (who first proposed equal marriage policy at Liberal Democrat conference), the human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, lesbian Rabbi Ariel Friedlander, former Lib Dem mayoral candidate Brian Paddick and a series of couples who are currently denied the right to marry in the UK. A number of high profile names from the worlds of politics and entertainment will be added later this week.
Mike Buonaiuto who is coordinating Out4Marriage told PinkNews.co.uk: “Out4Marriage will engage everyone who believes in marriage equality, from MPs, to celebrities to religious leaders to gay couples to parents to grandparents. Anyone can make a video and submit online and it will be spread across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and scores of partner publications. It’s as simple as that.
“One person’s voice is too quiet to make a difference. But one person’s voice inspiring thousands of others, will be a strong force behind supporting the government in the their decision to change the UK civil marriage laws.
To be included in the Out4Marriage campaign, simply post a video to youtube, using ‘Out4Marriage:’ in the title, then email it to firstname.lastname@example.org or send the team a message on Facebook. PinkNews.co.uk and our media partners will be regularly sharing the best videos online.