The Washington Post

Politicians love to put their families in campaign ads. And increasingly, gay candidates are doing it, too.

Politicians and ad-makers love nothing more than to feature the candidates' families in campaign ads. It's the oldest trick in the book.

But there is still an exception. While a strong majority of the American people say they support gay marriage, gay candidates have been slower to put their spouses and non-traditional families out front on the airwaves.

That's beginning to change -- and as Ashley Parker notes, it's thanks in large part to Republicans. But even today, gay candidates have largely featured their families in Web ads rather than paid TV ads. Will that change even more as the 2014 election approaches? The below timeline suggests it's only a matter of time...

September 2011

San Francisco mayoral candidate Bevan Dufty (D) becomes the first LGBT candidate to feature his or her child in a campaign ad, though the ad makes no mention of Dufty's sexuality. Dufty's decision to have the child with a lesbian friend with whom he was not romantic was a hot topic in 2006.

July 2013

Seattle mayoral candidate Ed Murray (D) talks openly about how he thought being gay would mean he couldn't serve in public office -- and how glad he is that it hasn't been the case for him.

September 2013

Massachusetts special congressional election candidate Carl Sciortino (D) runs an ad in which he talks with his tea party-supporting father about when he came out ... as a liberal. The video has been viewed 430,000 times, though Sciortino lost.

November 2013

Republican congressional candidate Dan Innis launches his 2014 New Hampshire campaign with a Web video in which he talks about his family -- including his husband and his kids -- and shows a family picture.

December 2013

Washington state House candidate Brady Walkinshaw (D) launches a Web video featuring him walking, hand in hand with his partner.

February 2014

GOP congressional candidate Carl DeMaio briefly includes his husband in a Web video that also features a rainbow flag and refers to DeMaio's defense of "our personal freedoms." DeMaio is a top recruit for Republicans in a competitive San Diego  area district.

April 2014

Oregon state House candidate Rob Nosse (D) runs an ad talking about how he and his husband had to leave the country in order to get married -- before gay marriage was legal in the Beaver State.

May 2014

GOP Massachusetts governor candidate Charlie Baker (R) features his gay brother in a Web video in which the brother recalls coming out to Baker.

June 2014

Providence, R.I., mayoral candidate Brett Smiley (D) launches a Wes Anderson-esque ad in which he recalls proposing to his husband using a PowerPoint presentation. And the two of them reenact the scene for the camera.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.

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