TORONTO—Canadians for Equal Marriage today launched its cross-country advertising campaign highlighting the problem with excluding same-sex couples from civil marriage and with any ‘separate but equal’ civil union. This advertising campaign was developed pro-bono by staff at one of Canada’s leading advertising agencies, Leo Burnett. It comprises television, print, posters and postcards. Employees of the agency and members throughout the production community felt strongly about the cause and donated their time and materials to bring the campaign to life. The messaging delivers a simple and fundamental argument for equality through powerful imagery and is delivered in a dramatic manner.


“It is a thrill for a group of very talented people who feel passionately about an issue to be involved in the creation of a poignantly targeted message,” said David Moore, EVP, General Manager, Leo Burnett Company.


“Civil Union is not equality, it’s segregation,” said Laurie Arron, political coordinator for Canadians for Equal Marriage. “If it’s not called marriage then it’s second class status. These ads highlight that fact in a striking and intuitive fashion.”


“Canadians know that excluding any minority group from public amenities like escalators, phone booths or park benches is wrong,” said Cicely McWilliam, outreach coordinator for Canadians for Equal Marriage. “If we accept that excluding people from these things is wrong, then how can excluding people from civil marriage be right?”


“Civil rights leaders understand that discrimination in any form is wrong,” continued Ms. McWilliam. “Civil rights leaders like Coretta Scott King, Julian Bond, Carol Moseley Braun, and John Lewis all support equal marriage for same-sex couples.”


‘I still hear people say that I should not be talking about the rights of lesbian and gay people and I should stick to the issue of racial justice. But I hasten to remind them that Martin Luther King Jr. said, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ I appeal to everyone who believes in Martin Luther King Jr.’ s dream to make room at the table of brother- and sisterhood for lesbian and gay people.” (Coretta Scott King, Reuters, March 31, 1998)


For more information:
Cicely McWilliam, Canadians for Equal Marriage, 416.928.1238 (o)
Laurie Arron, Canadians for Equal Marriage, 416.928.1238 (o) 416.839.7178 (c )
David Moore, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Leo Burnett, 416.925.5997
Download and view the Canadians for Equal Marriage video spot here: CEM Ad (30 seconds, 4.4 MB)