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New Local Ad Featuring A Same-Sex Couple Sparks Controversy

BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) -- A new local ad is meant to shock in hopes that you will shop. A Baltimore County jewelry store is trying a new approach to boost their sales, but will it work?

Andrea Fujii has the story.

It's not your typical jewelry store advertisement. It's already running in the City Paper and Baltimore Sun. The slogan is "Let's Grow Old Together," and it features diverse couples, including two lesbians.

"I think same-sex couples just want the same American dream that straight couples want," said Sydney Nusinov.

Sydney Nusinov of Charles Nusinov and Sons came up with the idea. He admits it's potentially controversial but believes it'll help his bottom line.

"From a business standpoint, I think it would help us to have a whole new subsection of customers getting married," Nusinov said.

But that won't happen for a while, as a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in Maryland failed in the last General Assembly. Governor Martin O'Malley is sponsoring the bill again next year, but not without some opposition.

"Two men can never become one and two women can never become one," said Dr. John Lunn, Baltimore Baptist Ministers' Conference.

"It's not morally acceptable to have two men or two women to make up a family," said Dr. Cleveland Alexander, St. Paul Baptist Church.

But Nusinov says so far, reaction to the ad has been positive, and people WJZ showed it to weren't affected.

"It doesn't bother me. I'm not bothered by same-sex couples," said one.

"I think it's time that we acknowledge this exists in our society," said another.

The ad will run through Christmas. Only time will tell if it will help or hurt Nusinov's business.

Maryland's same-sex marriage bill was defeated in March after several weeks of debate.

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