NEW YORK — Rap superstar Macklemore today released a video urging people to join the American Civil Liberties Union ( ACLU ) and get its legendary membership card. In a 50-second spot launched on his Facebook page and promoted via his Twitter feed, the MTV Video Music Award-winning rapper encourages his fans to get the card "that lets my gay friends marry the hell out of each other."
The video presents a funny but hard-hitting defense of free speech with lines like: "I've got a lot of things to do during the day. So something like being beaten with a club, pepper-sprayed, and tased for expressing my political views would really slow me down. That's why I carry the ACLU card."
The video can be viewed online at: www.aclucard.com .
"There is no other organization that I believe in more," said Macklemore. "The tireless work of the ACLU to preserve the freedoms of all people in our country inspires my music and my deepest connection to my human community. To be in a position where young people look to me for their own ideas about equality makes this opportunity even more important."
"Free speech, marriage for same-sex couples, and reproductive freedom — Macklemore addresses civil liberties issues that really matter to his fans and the ACLU," said ACLU of Washington executive director Kathleen Taylor. "And he does so humorously and irreverently. That's the beauty of it."
People who join the ACLU after viewing the video can choose one of two special t-shirts designed for the campaign. The project also includes a sweepstakes that gives entrants the chance to win two tickets plus meet-and-greet passes to see Macklemore perform live in Seattle on December 12, along with round trip air transportation to Seattle, hotel accommodations and spending money.
This year Macklemore and his partner Ryan Lewis won a YouTube Music Award, a Billboard Music Award, and three MTV Video Music Awards, including Best Video with a Message for "Same Love." Macklemore has 3.3 million Facebook fans and 1.7 million Twitter followers. The video was produced by the ACLU of Washington in partnership with the Wexley School for Girls, a Seattle-based ad agency.
"I am forever grateful for everything that the ACLU has done and continues to do," Macklemore concluded.