Obama Appeals to Gay Marriage Supporters in `Live-Free’ N.H.

Photograph by Jin Lee/Bloomberg

A couple with their marriage license after their wedding ceremony at the Manhattan City Clerk's office in New York.

“What are you going to tell them? You were too busy? You didn’t think it mattered?” a woman asks in an advertisement now playing on radios in New Hampshire. “Is that what you’re going to to tell your friends who can’t get married?”

The minute-long spot by President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign marks a rare foray into the issue of same-sex marriage. The president declared his support for the cause in a televised interview in May.

Yet, until now, gay marriage appears to have popped up in just a single ad that aired one time on MTV, according to data gathered by Kantar Media’s CMAG, a New York-based ad tracker.

In what was essentially a fundraising pitch, actress Sarah Jessica Parker praised Obama as “the guy who says you should be able to marry whoever you want.”

This new Obama radio ad is aimed at a swing state where gay marriage has been legal for two years — where the license plates read, “Live Free or Die.” New Hampshire is one of six states, plus Washington, D.C., where same-sex couples can legally wed. Voters in four states are considering the matter this year. None — Maryland, Minnesota, Washington and Maine — is a presidential swing state.

An NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll of likely voters conducted Sept. 23-25 showed Obama leading Republican challenger Mitt Romney by 7 percentage points in New Hampshire.

Here’s more of the radio ad, which also touches on abortion rights:

“What are you going to tell them? You were just too busy? You didn’t think it mattered? Is that what you’re going to tell your friends who can’t get married? The ones who couldn’t serve openly in the military?

“You’re going to tell them they can’t make decisions about their own bodies anymore? Because you didn’t think your vote counted?

“Those are just some of the big issues at stake in this election. And there’s a clear choice. Mitt Romney supports a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage — doesn’t even support civil unions. Obama ended ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell.’ Romney would have kept it in place.

“And Romney wants to overturn a woman’s right to choose and end federal funding for Planned Parenthood. Obama says women should make their own choices about their bodies, not politicians. So what are you going to tell them?”

The spot concludes with the narrator urging listeners to register to vote by Oct. 9. Yet, New Hampshire residents can register to vote as late as Election Day.

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