If you needed further confirmation of the extent to which Americans have evolved on the issue of gay marriage and gay rights over the past few years, look no further than the new campaign ad from Hillary Clinton. The two and a half minute spot, called “Equal,” outlines Clinton’s stance on a once-controversial, now largely common-sense issue. In it, the former Secretary of State and First Lady speaks about the hard-fought, hard-won progress that is the story of America, over footage of gay couples celebrating their weddings.
Clinton’s speech, which culminates with the declaration that “being LGBT does not make you less human,” may state what we can take for granted as the conventional wisdom of 2015. But the video is remarkable when you consider that, as recently as two elections ago, an ad that features gay couples kissing, holding hands, proposing on one knee, and tearfully sharing their vows would have been much more likely as an attack ad from a candidate wanting to depict the big gay dystopia that his opponent would usher forth. Even in 2000 Clinton herself said, “I think a marriage is as a marriage has always been, between a man and a woman.” Now an ad like this is a strong position declaration from a major party’s frontrunner candidate, launched in the early days of her campaign.
With the Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality due any day now, and San Francisco celebrating its Pride Days this weekend, we’ve seen our share of ads from progressive, tech-savvy companies, and they never stop bringing tears to our eyes–but we haven’t seen an ad like this from a major presidential candidate before, and that’s a clear indication that we live in a different world than we did even eight years ago.