WASHINGTON — Today the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) launched an ad featuring civil rights leader and Baptist minister Al Sharpton for its Americans for Marriage Equality campaign. In the ad, Sharpton, who is the host of MSNBC's PoliticsNation, says "If committed gay and lesbian couples want to marry, that's their business. None of us should stand in their way." The video can be viewed online at http://www.hrc.org/MarriageEquality.
"Al Sharpton has always fought against discrimination, even in the face of adversity," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. "And while the fight for marriage equality won't be easy, fairness and equality for gay and lesbian couples will ultimately prevail."
The Rev. Al Sharpton is a Baptist minister and longtime civil rights activist. In 2004, he campaigned for the Democratic Party presidential nomination, and spoke out in favor of marriage equality at an HRC Presidential Forum moderated by ABC News. "[Asking me if I support gay marriage] is like asking me if I support black marriage or white marriage. The inference of the question is that gays are not human beings and cannot make a decision like other human beings." Sharpton's National Action Network has been successful in increasing voter education, providing services to those in poverty, and supporting small community businesses. Presently he is the host of MSNBC's PoliticsNation.
This is the thirteenth video released by HRC for the Americans campaign. Past videos feature Lloyd Blankfein, U.S. Sen. Al Franken, Michael K. Williams, Aisha Tyler, Dee Rees and Kim Wayans, Scott Fujita, Josh Charles, Katori Hall, John Leguizamo, Julian Bond, Mo'Nique, and Mayor Cory Booker.
About 53% of the American public supports marriage for same-sex couples, according to a number of nonpartisan polls, including Gallup, CNN, and Washington Post/ABC News.
Americans for Marriage Equality is a public engagement campaign featuring prominent Americans who support committed gay and lesbian couples getting married. The campaign draws from a cadre of supportive professional athletes, film and music celebrities, and political and civic leaders.
For more information on the campaign or to see the videos, visit www.hrc.org/marriageequality.