Same sex marriages have become issues of public concern because of the perceptions that people have about the practices of their members. This advocacy campaign strategy aims at educating the public about the need to respect gays and lesbians. In addition it presents the expected outcomes, objectives and targeted audiences.
This paper describes the major stakeholders in this campaign and how their roles are important in advancing the rights of same sex partners. Moreover, it presents an analysis of how this campaign will address the issues presented by opponents like religious and traditional leaders and legal institutions.
Lastly, it presents the key messages, costs and resources, activities and approaches that will be used to make the campaign successful.
Same sex marriages continue to face criticism in almost all parts of the world and nations that have legalised it have not stopped having sleepless nights because of condemnation from others. Australia is still grappling with the hectic decision of whether to allow same sex partners to get married or not.
This country had allowed same sex couples to get married but the decision was overturned by the High Court five days after same sex couples had started enjoying their rights.
This means that there are various fundamental issues that must be addressed to ensure the decision about same sex marriages is made after thorough consultation and research.
The December 12th, 2013 decision, that outlawed same sex marriages in Australia elicited controversy in this country and others that believed the rights of gays and lesbians had been violated. The case faces an uncertain future because of the appeal filed at the Supreme Court.
It is imperative to explain that monogamous and polygamous marriages have existed in the world for a very long time yet nobody asks questions about them. People decide to be single for the rest of their lives and nobody questions their way of living.
However, it puzzles same sex partners that their lives are issues of concern to the public. Moreover, the public’s attention is focused on belittling the rights of gays and lesbians and exposing the evils of their relationships rather than addressing their needs.
Same sex partners are not ready to let their relationships be dissolved just because very few people do not find any reason for their existence (Lamb 2010).
On the other hand, religious leaders, human right groups and some academic institutions have vowed to fight to ensure same sex relationships are discouraged and outlawed in all societies.
This has caused this issue to be of public interests and it is important for people to understand it from the gay and lesbian’s point of view so that they can make informed decisions.
Campaign Strategy for Same Sex Marriages
Same sex partners seek and use all avenues to present their cases to the public to ensure the long standing squabbles about gays and lesbians is settled and everybody is satisfied with the final decision made by relevant authorities.
Some countries have outlawed same sex marriages because of their religious affiliations and traditional beliefs. However, majority of them continue to weigh this issue and are yet to make their decisions as to whether they should legalise or outlaw it (Sireau 2008).
The aims of this campaign strategy are discussed in the following ways.
First, there has been misconception about the issue of same sex relationships by the public and that is why there are protests and demonstrations aimed to persuade governments to outlaw these relationships. This strategy aims at explaining what same sex relationships are and their benefits to their members.
These relationships are based on mutual understanding between two mature people and this means that the issue of individual’s maturity and eligibility are met without excuses (Lamb 2010).
Secondly, there are various marginalised groups in the societies that have been given special treatment by governments and nongovernmental organisations.
However, it surprises many people that same sex relationships are not given equal attention and this means that there is unfair treatment of marginalised groups in the society.
Therefore, it is important for people to understand that all marginalised or special groups deserve to be given equal treatment and thus same sex marriages should not be ignored when it comes to these considerations.
This campaign aims at establishing the truth regarding the perceptions of people that gays and lesbians are outcast. Most people do not understand the meaning of same sex relationships and confuse them with sexual abuse. Therefore, they condemn these relationships without understanding its meanings.
Expected Change Outcomes
This campaign is aimed at ensuring that the public makes informed decisions regarding the suitability and acceptance of same sex relationships. Most researchers have discovered that these relationships do not expose its members to abuse or undermine their freedoms.
Therefore, it is important to ensure the public understands the circumstances that push people to establish these relationships and why they do not prefer to have other forms of marriages. This will be a significant step towards persuading legal systems and the public that same sex relationships should not be condemned.
The campaign will ensure all members of these relationships come out and declare their personalities without fear of being lynched by mobs or prosecuted. Therefore, it will give them the freedom to express their affections to their partners just the way other members of the society show love to their family members.
In addition, there have been misconceptions that same sex relationships did not exist and thus are just part of the effects of globalisation (Sireau 2008).
Therefore, this campaign will ensure the public and victims of this condemnation understand that same sex relations are not established by societies and globalisation but by personality traits. This means that nobody can control the feeling of wanting to befriend a member of his or her sex.
Therefore, the public will understand the reasons why some people prefer to have relations with members of their sex and not another (Mayne 2008).
The campaign is expected to draw the attention of religious groups, human right organisations and legal institutions that are determined to ensure same sex relationships are banned.
Therefore, it will create a consensus between their arguments and what members of these relationships think should be addressed in determining whether same sex affairs should be banned or not.
The existence of same sex relationships affects all members of the society including those that think they do not have a direct contact with these people (Ellis 2007).
The church is the first audience targeted by this campaign because of its endless fight to ensure the rights of same sex partners are violated through banning these relationships. This group is in the forefront in persuading the public to reject any attempt to legalise same sex relationships (Elsavier 2011).
It uses religious teachings to condemn these relationships by claiming that people were created to multiply and fill the earth with their generations. Therefore, they argue that same sex relationships should not be encouraged because they do not support this practice.
In addition, they argue that it is unnatural for people of the same sex to have intimate affairs. Therefore, this campaign will aim at persuading them that not all marriages must produce children because this is a personal choice.
The second group is the human right activities that are usually in the forefront in shaping public opinion regarding issues of national importance. The campaign will target to involve them in the debate about same sex marriages and if possible persuade them to support the perceptions of this group.
Public opinion can influence the decisions of courts and ensure same sex marriages are legalised. That is why it is very important to ensure human right groups are targeted by this campaign.
Learning institutions are also targeted by this campaign to ensure students that prefer same sex relationships are not discriminated by others.
In addition, the campaign will aim at persuading the appropriate academic departments to include discussions about same sex relationships in school curriculums. This will be an effective way of ensuring students are educated about these relationships and eliminate misconceptions created by opponents.
Gays and lesbians are the main stakeholders in this campaign because it is aimed at educating and informing the public about the intentions of these people.
This campaign is aimed at ensuring the public changes its perceptions and attitudes towards these people and helps them not to be discriminated against by other members of the public (Elsavier 2011).
Therefore, these people are supposed to come out in large numbers and participate in all activities that will ensure the campaign achieves its goals. It is important to explain that the presence of these stakeholders will add weight to the need to ensure that their rights are recognised and respected.
The higher the number of same sex partners in this campaign the better and easier it will be to pass their messages to the public (Lamb 2010). Secondly, religious leaders and groups are also major stakeholders in this campaign because they are in the forefront in advocating for the illegalisation of same sex relationships.
It is important to explain that this campaign will target and seek the support of religious leaders in ensuring the public understands the meaning and purpose of these relationships. However, this does not mean that these leaders should stand in public places and encourage people to have these affairs (Elsavier 2011).
They can support same sex marriages by avoiding to present discussions about them in their places of worship and letting their followers to make their own choices.
Religious leaders were the first people to express their anger and disappointment about these relationships and if they keep quiet this will reduce the heat on the debate of illegalising these relationships. Lastly, legal institutions and human right groups are also key stakeholders in this campaign.
Courts must make reasonable and fair rulings on cases presented to them regarding same sex marriages to ensure its members and the public are satisfied with their verdicts (Sireau 2008).
In addition, human right groups should be involved in promoting and advocating for the inclusion of same sex relationships in marriage bills to allow its members to enjoy their freedoms.
This campaign endeavours to pass across the following key messages to the public and all stakeholders. First, it is important that everybody understand the meaning and purpose of human rights.
The existence of heterosexual relationships is not just by chance or mistake but by default and so should be the presence of same sex marriages (Elsavier 2011).
Therefore, it is necessary for people to understand that these relationships are a form of enjoying human rights and nobody should deny gays and lesbians the right to establish relationships.
This message should reach all stakeholders and interest groups to ensure they understand that the rights of gays are not privileges but requirements that should be protected by constitutions.
Secondly, the campaign will aim at explaining to religious leaders that gay marriages are not evil as most of them have made their followers to believe. This will ensure people change their attitude and perceptions towards gays (Lamb 2010).
The campaigners will explain to religious leaders that there are other serious issues like illegal abortion, murder, fornication and robbery that are never given the desired attention yet they violate the rights of innocent people.
In addition, legal institutions will be informed that there is the need to ensure people are not denied their freedom of association. All constitutions allow people to associate and form relationships that do not violate the rights of others.
Same sex marriages do not violate the rights of their members or the public and thus there is the need to educate legal institutions to ensure their decisions consider the characteristics of these relationships and make informed rulings (Elsavier 2011).
Lastly, the campaign will aim at encouraging members of same sex marriages to come out and express their relationships without fear. This will be a good way of ensuring that governments and religious leaders are forced to listen to them.
Same sex partners should not hide their relationships if they want the public to understand them. In addition, this campaign will endeavour to inform the public that same sex marriages have been in existence for a very long time and that it has deep roots that cannot be easily uprooted.
Therefore, the public will be in better positions to understand how to accommodate and live with members of same sex marriages without thinking that they are immoral or abnormal.
Opponents and how to manage them
There are two key opponents of same sex relationships and they include religious and traditional leaders. Religious leaders should be advised to avoid the debate about same sex relationships and focus on issues that affect the faith of their followers.
The campaign should aim at persuading religious leaders to concentrate on issues of their teachings like how to live holy lives and interact with neighbours. Some will argue that same sex relationships are part of the society and thus they cannot avoid this debate.
However, it is important for the campaign to address political issues that religious organisations have avoided for centuries yet they are part of the society.
These leaders should be advised that same sex marriages are just like any other relationships and that people should focus on establishing healthy relationships and not condemning how other people live (Sireau 2008).
Lastly, they should be informed that not all followers that attend their religious activities without fail are better behaved. Some go to these places of worship just to hide their faces yet they do terrible things when night falls.
Traditional leaders believe that same sex marriages have been brought by western cultures and thus they condemn them sand think that this is not their way of life.
They should be informed that same sex relationships existed since life started on earth; however, their members were afraid off coming out in the public for fear of condemnation and excommunication.
The expansion of democratic spaces and respect for human rights has enabled these people to come out and demand that their freedoms be respected. In addition, these leaders will be informed that life is changing and people should learn to live and accommodate changes that are inevitable in the society (Elsavier 2011).
For instance, the introduction of modern technology may be resisted by some traditional communities but with time they develop necessities that push them to use modern technological devises like mobile phone s and computers.
Activities, Tools and Approaches
This campaign will not be an easy task and thus participants are supposed to be prepared to ensure it succeeds in passing the intended messages to its audiences.
The campaign will involve activities like marches that will start from designated places and people will move around major centres around cities to ensure the public is aware of what is happening. Therefore, planning is a requirement that should be given maximum consideration before the campaign starts.
Participants will be required to meet some days before the campaign day to ensure everybody is assigned a role to play. The production of posters, banners and flyers will be done some days before the campaign to ensure there are adequate tools to be used to educate the public.
People will march on major roads while others will moving across offices and business premises distributing reading materials that present a summary of the issues addressed by the campaign (Sireau 2008).
The culmination of this campaign will be on a specified ground where all participants and the public will meet for lectures from same sex couples and interest groups. There will be presentations and entertainment before the speeches begin to ensure there is a reasonable audience.
Costs and Resources
There will be a task force in charge of budgeting for this campaign and this means that there is the need for a research to be conducted to ensure the body responsible for this campaign knows how much it will spend for this project.
Organisers are supposed to seek funds from sponsors to ensure there is enough money to print posters, t-shirts, flyers and other materials that will be used to communicate to the public. In addition, a powerful public address system and transport vans will be hired to ensure the campaign attracts a huge crowd.
The campaign will start in the morning, preferably on a Saturday or Sunday when most people are not busy with their work. Demonstrations will start from a designated place and participants will move around major places in towns to ensure the public is aware of the campaign.
This will last for six hours then the procession will proceed to an open ground where speeches will be delivered to the public. All participants will be required to report back to the starting point and a final statement issued regarding future plans.
The achievements of this campaign will be evaluated based on the response received from the public. Questionnaires will be distributed and filled during the last hours of the campaign to ensure participants get a feedback of what people think about same sex marriages.
In addition, religious and legal experts will be contacted for comments about the campaign and the future of these relationships.
Ellis, J. (2007). Campaigning for Success-How to Cope If You Achieve Your Campaign Goal. New York: National Council for Voluntary Organisations.
Elsavier, K. (2011). Conducting Public Campaigns on Controversial Issues. New York: Wiley.
Lamb, B. (2010). The Good Guide to Campaigning and Influencing. New York: National Council for Voluntary Organisations.
Mayne, R. Coe, J. (2008). Is Your Campaign Making a Difference? New York: National Council for Voluntary Organisations.
Sireau, N. (2008). Make Poverty History: Political Communication in Action. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.