Leone Kraus

How One Photo Has Changed Hearts and Minds

Filed By Leone Kraus | July 23, 2011 6:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Marriage Equality, Media
Tags: Freedom to Marry, Levis, marriage equality, MENY

just-married.jpeg Over 700 gay couples are expected to wed in New York when it becomes legal on Sunday, July 24, 2011. As you probably know, gay marriage, or Marriage Equality if you prefer, has been a long time coming for many New York gay couples. With attempts to pass legislation in 2009, and finally with the historic win this year, there's much to celebrate.

The other day, Marriage Equality New York (MENY), an organization that I know well through my phone-banking with New Yorkers United for Marriage, flipped me a Facebook invite for an event they were hosting to celebrate the occasion. I smiled when I opened the Facebook event page because the image they were using in the invite is one that is near and dear to me.

The image is of my friend Joey and his partner Ariel after they wed in San Francisco in 2008.

Three years later, the image of Joey and Ariel remains and serves as a visual tool to normalize same-sex marriage. In fact, over Gay Pride weekend in New York City, the Levis store in Chelsea offered their interpretation of the photo for their window display after the gay marriage bill passed.


According to a post on the blog for Freedom to Marry, the nationwide campaign to win marriage, Marriage Equality in New York means that "the number of Americans living in states with the freedom to marry more than doubles, from 16 million to 35 million." With New York's historic win, and the other states that are soon to follow suit, we'll get to see even more pictures (and window displays) like Joey and Ariel's.

I asked Joey how he felt about the fact that he and Ariel have become famous without intending to.

"My dream is that one day our kids will come home from school and show us the picture in their textbooks."

Well said, Joey!

So tell me, have you seen this iconic photo?

(Cross posted on the Advertising Week blog).

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