Current Affairs

Democratic candidate who was thrown out of church for gay marriage support releases amazing advert

Josh Jackman August 17, 2018
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L'Italien supported marriage equality in 2004 (teambarbara/twitter)

A Democratic candidate for Congress has released a groundbreaking TV advert which features an interracial same-sex wedding.

Barbara L’Italien, a state senator who is running for the House of Representatives in Massachusetts’ third district, also speaks about how she was thrown out of her church for supporting marriage equality in 2004.

She currently faces opposition from 10 candidates, including gay former US Ambassador to Denmark Rufus Gifford, whose documentary Jeg er ambassadøren fra Amerika (I am the Ambassador from America) was picked up by Netflix in 2016.

The former ambassador made it on Netflix (Netflix)

The seat in the heavily Democratic district opened up when representative Niki Tsongas announced she would not seek re-election after 11 years in the House.

And for the first televised advert promoting her candidacy, L’Italien chose to emphasise her support for same-sex marriage.

She tells viewers: “With so many of us running, I wanted to show you the ways we stand out,” before listing her endorsement by the Massachusetts branch of the American Federation of Teachers and 15 years as a lawmaker.

L’Italien, who is straight, proudly recalls her vote to ban assault weapons and being a sponsor on a bill for a single-payer healthcare system before telling the audience about her work to legalise same-sex marriage.

“I led the fight to pass marriage equality,” she says as two interracial men kiss behind her in a wedding scene.

“That one got me kicked out of my church.”

L’Italien has been in state politics for 15 years (teambarbara/twitter)

The candidate, who is 57, finishes the ad by telling viewers: “I approve this message because I’ll help Massachusetts stand out in Congress by standing up to Donald Trump.”

The candidate reportedly received death threats after she publicly championed marriage equality 11 years before it was passed nationwide by the Supreme Court.

In a statement, she said: “We as Democrats have to be bold. We have to be willing to stand up for what’s right.

She’s running for the Democratic nomination in a strongly blue state (barbara l’italien/facebook)

“Earning my scars during my first big battle as a legislator made me tough. Getting kicked out of my church made me all the more resolved to fight for folks who need it, no matter what it costs me.

“I’m not afraid to be controversial if it means doing the right thing, whether in my positions or my TV ads. I’m proud to display such representation.”

A record number of LGBT+ candidates are standing in elections for public office in the US this year.

There are more than 400 in total, including Christine Hallquist, who will be the Democratic candidate for Vermont Governor after winning the nomination on Tuesday (August 15).

Related topics: Congress, Gay, house of representatives, Massachusetts, Politics, same sex marriage, US, US

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