A number of LGBT celebrities are endorsing President Obama in a new ad released Tuesday by the Obama campaign. Among the bold-faced names are Jane Lynch, Zachary Quinto, Wanda Sykes, and George Takei.
The five-minute ad highlights the progress made during Obama’s first term for LGBT rights, such as the 2009 signing of the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, the 2011 repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and his statement in favor of marriage equality.
“If I was a kid in Albuquerque, New Mexico, 14 or 15 years old, and I watched the evening news with my parents, and the sitting president of the United States said, ’I support gay marriage’…that would have changed a lot,” Modern Family actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson says in the ad. “I don’t know if he knows how many lives he’s changing by just saying that simplest thing. He’s saving lives, really, and it’s really moving. I wish I had that when I was a kid, and I’m so happy for the kids who have that now.”
The celebrities in the ad also share their personal stories of being bullied for their sexual orientation, and discuss the discrimination many gay people still face today.
The ad seeks to contrast President Obama’s policies on gay rights with those of Mitt Romney:
“All it takes is someone like Mitt Romney in the White House and we can roll back rights,” says Lynch, who stars on Glee. “We could lose them.”
Under a Romney-Ryan administration, LGBT Americans could face several threats. In August, ThinkProgress laid out both men’s anti-LGBT records , and Romney’s party this summer reaffirmed its opposition to civil unions and marriage for same-sex couples.
“Thomas Jefferson said we have to re-fight this fight with every generation, and it’s our turn now. We have to preserve those rights,” Lynch adds.