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Zachary Zydonik
Professor Lori Bedell
CAS 137H
3 December 2015
Gay is Good
On June 26th of 2015 the United States Supreme Court, with a vote of 5-4, legalized
same-sex marriage across the fifty states, upholding the 14th Amendment (Chappel). The date
marks a tremendous step forward in the battle for equal rights among homosexuals. After
countless attempts to strike down the right to same-sex marriage in the United States through
numerous acts such as the Federal Defense of Marriage Act, the validation of same-sex marriage
positions its supporters at the forefront of tackling the acceptance of the new federal law. The
front lines of the invasion with the mission of defending this emerging ideology include various
online campaigns seeking to calm fears and displace negative commonplaces. The Ultimate
Anti-Gay Marriage Ad and the Tale of Two Dads are two examples of such media that
promote same sex equality. The Ultimate Anti-Gay Marriage Ad is successful by mocking
heterosexists, challenging the logical claims in their arguments, while the Tale of Two Dads
takes a different approach, using pathetic appeals, facilitated by the emotional connection
between a father and their child.
The video, The Ultimate Anti-Gay Marriage Ad, uses the classical representations of
characters in a typical household to establish the attention of viewers. At the beginning of the
film, the mother is observed setting the table, fulfilling the typical housewife role to which many
Americans can relate. To normalize the household even further, the father enters the scene
appearing to have arrived home from a long days work. Within these two characters, the

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producers of the video established the environment of a classic American household, to which
most heterosexists would be able to relate. By utilizing standard American characters, the
producers are able to communicate their message without the use of a gay character, from which
some viewers may immediately turn away. The ethos established here ensures that viewers will
be able to relate to any claims made by the characters.
With familiar characters established, the producers use absurd homophobic statements to
make the arguments against same-sex marriage appear ridiculous, or even humorous. The flawed
logic behind the claims made in the video encourage the viewer to question the validity of the
negative association that the characters attached to same-sex marriage. An ideal example of this
occurs when the daughter of the couple appears and asks her parents, If gay people are allowed
to get married, will you still love me? ("The Ultimate). When the father hesitates, glances at
his wife for affirmation, and concludes, Lets just hope it doesnt come to that, the viewer is left
puzzled ("The Ultimate). The purpose of this scene is to demonstrate how legalization of samesex marriage will not break apart the family even if the father may disagree with the practice.
The producers stressed this point by mocking the ideas held by a homophobic couple, showing
that the man can still love his daughter, whether couples of the same gender marry or not. The
logic in the couples argument falls apart throughout the video and their ignorance is coupled
with the final remark of the narrator, Help keep straight couples from getting divorced and
hating their children ("The Ultimate). There is no proven correlation between the marriage of
gay couples and straight couples getting divorced or hating their children. The absurdity of this
notion becomes blatantly obvious given the stern tone accompanied by such a ridiculous remark.
By invalidating the logic of the heterosexists in the video, the specific reasons used against samesex equality become invalid and cannot effectively be used in a logical debate.

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The second video, Tale of Two Dads, takes a different approach to promoting equality
for homosexuals. The beginning of the video focuses on two different males who the narrator
informs viewers are fathers-to-be. The love for a father is the sensation the producers hoped
viewers would immediately take away from the scene. They might associate the men with the
stereotypical role of father here, assuming that they will be caring, passionate for their spouse,
and willing to do anything they could possibly do for their children. One of the dads is portrayed
as a messy, less organized, fun kind of dad, while the video represented the other dad as a
professional business man, who is on top of organization and planning. The two varying types of
characters allow different viewers to relate to the dad they are most familiar with. Despite their
differences, there is little doubt as to whether both dads will be successful with their own child.
The producers also strategically made the men appear as two heterosexual males. This was
accomplished by showing one of the men in a picture with a woman, who is seen at the
beginning of the video and assumed to be the wife. Additionally, the two men were never shown
together in the same scene. Most viewers, especially the heterosexists who the producers are
targeting, will understand the fathers and appreciate their efforts in preparing for the arrival of
their child. It is not until the end of the video that the two men finally meet and embrace,
revealing their true sexual identity. Heterosexists might doubt the feelings they felt for the men
as the video reveals their relationship to each other. The producers are aiming for the viewer to
realize that taking care of a child can be done effectively by any two parents, whether they be
male and female or of the same-sex; but by relating the characters to the typical father figure,
more viewers with varying backgrounds and beliefs will likely remain attentive to the video.
By incorporating scenes that evoke a strong pathetic response, the video is effective in
encouraging the support of same-sex rights. Throughout the video, viewers attain a sense of

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contentment as they witness the overall excitement, joy, and love the fathers have for their child.
A scene showing the two fathers as they lovingly caress their newborn child is depicted as
heartwarming. By creating this strong emotional appeal, it becomes more difficult for the viewer
to want to dissolve the bond between the fathers and their daughter. The ad is a challenge to the
heterosexist who might be inclined to deny the love portrayed in a such a scene. Through the use
of widely experienced emotions, the video is incomparably effective in fabricating support for
same-sex marriage.
The two videos are effective in promoting gay rights, but in very dissimilar ways. As
described, the first mocks heterosexists, focusing on the negative connotations they commonly
associate with same-sex marriage; however, Tale of Two Dads focuses on the positives roles
that gay marriage can have in a childs life. Both videos are centered upon figures in the common
household, but are divergent in their uses of these characters. The first video uses the mother,
father, and daughter roles to create a household that would supposedly fall apart if gay marriage
became legal, while the other video combines the use of two father roles with a daughter whose
relationship relies on the legalization of gay marriage for sustainability. The pathetic appeal to
viewers also differs between the two videos. The Ultimate Anti-Gay Marriage Ad generates a
negative image of the morals held by heterosexists in a humorous manner, while making the
heterosexists reasoning appear illogical. Tale of Two Dads constructs a positive association
between a child and its two fathers in the American household, upholding the value of fathers in
a childs life while associating these common morals with same-sex parents. Using different
approaches, from pathetic appeals tied to characters, to logical appeals related to existing antigay commonplaces, the videos are nevertheless effective at annihilating the depiction that samesex marriage goes against the ideals of the American culture.

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As the United States progresses and current trends continue, the number of same-sex
marriages will likely increase. Now protected by the 14th Amendment, gay relationships will
legally flourish and their acceptance across the nation is crucial. Critics of ads such as The
Ultimate Anti-Gay Marriage Ad and the Tale of Two Dads are placed in a situation in which
they are forced to view same-sex marriage with a positive regard. The strong appeals through
character, emotion, and challenge of commonplace logic show that acceptance of equality will
not be the ruination of the United States. Instead, the marriage of same-sex couples is becoming
more and more frequent, and therefore the acceptance of such behavior must follow in suit.

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Works Cited
Chappel, Bill. "Supreme Court Declares Same-Sex Marriage Legal In All 50 States." The TwoWay. NPR, 26 June 2015. Web. 25 Sept. 2015. <http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwoway/2015/06/26/417717613/supreme-court-rules-all-states-must-allow-same-sexmarriages>.
"Love Is Changing History - "Tale of Two Dads"" YouTube. The Trevor Project, 11 Oct. 2013.
Web. 25 Sept. 2015. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQLvIXpvwfM>.
"The Ultimate Anti-Gay Marriage Ad." YouTube. NonRandomNonSense, 4 Mar. 2013. Web. 25
Sept. 2015. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jrngYNGNeE>.