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$1.5 Million Spent On Anti-Gay Marriage Ad

A group called the National Organization for Marriage, which worked to overturn gay marriage in California, is out with a controversial new ad that suggests opponents of same-sex marriage are now being victimized for their beliefs.

"There's a storm gathering," one woman says as the spot opens. Says another woman: "I am afraid."

Later in the spot, a man says same-sex marriage advocates "want to bring the issue into my life." He is followed by a woman who says "my freedom will be taken away."

Another woman says same-sex marriage advocates "want to change the way I live." A teenage girl intones, "I will have no choice."

Ben Smith reports that the National Organization for Marriage is spending $1.5 million to air the spot in an effort to turn back the tide of gay marriage, which was yesterday legalized in Vermont. The spots will air in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and Iowa.

The group does not back away from the ad's argument that same-sex marriage has a direct, negative impact on non-gay people.

"The biggest argument – and the biggest lie – put forward by those who want to redefine marriage is that it's not going to have any effect on you," NOM executive director Brian Brown told Smith. He added that those who back gay marriage "are saying that it's right for the law to treat us as evil discriminators."

As evidence, Brown pointed to the fact that Catholic charities in Massachusetts stopped handling adoptions after legislation passed in the state outlawing discrimination against gays and lesbians who want to adopt.

Smith notes that states that have legalized same-sex marriage have passed exemptions and other rules to protect the autonomy of religious groups.

UPDATE: The gay rights group The Human Rights Campaign has released a statement denouncing the ad as "full of outrageous falsehoods" and noting that the claims "don't even come out of the mouths of real people." Here's the full release, which includes rebuttals of the spot's main claims.

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