Yvonne and Fred Peterson of Duluth, MN have been married for 59 years, which Fred calls the happiest of his whole life. In the heart-warming new television ad from Freedom to Marry’s “Why Marriage Matters” campaign, Fred and Yvonne ask, “Why shouldn’t other people be able to enjoy the happiness and love we’ve enjoyed through our lifetime?”
Perhaps instrumental in the Petersons’ endorsement is their grandson, who happens to be gay — Yvonne admits that if you had asked her in the past if gay people should be able to marry, she would have said no. But Fred concedes that the times indeed are a-changin': “Gay and lesbian people want to get married for the same reason that I wanted to marry my wife.”
“Why Marriage Matters” is Freedom to Marry’s national public education campaign designed to share stories and foster conversation about the love and commitment that forms the basis for marriage.
“The Petersons highlight the very reason public education is so important in the fight for marriage for all committed couples,” said Thalia Zepatos, Freedom to Marry’s Director of Public Engagement. “They started out with an opposing view and have come to see that marriage for everyone benefits us all. Local stories are the best conversation starter – and conversation is the best vehicle for helping people to see that the protections and responsibilities that come with marriage should be for everyone, no matter whom they love.”