Where's the ring?
At the end of a cul-de-sac in Kensington lives Jim Abbott and Michael Milano, a gay couple who've been happily domestically partnered for five years.
On Monday night, Abbott pulled out the cheese cubes and Milano stocked the bar in preparation for a screening of a commercial by Equality California, an organization behind a statewide campaign to allow same-sex couples to get married.
People started trickling in at 6 p.m. Todd Gloria, a candidate for San Diego's District 3 seat, wandered in and struck up a conversation with Seth Kilbourn, policy director at Equality California.
"It's about talking to non-gay people," says Kilbourn. "We're trying to get non-gay friends and allies to put themselves in our position."
Kilbourn explained that after 2004, when the gay community lost ballot measures in numerous states, his organization looked at what was holding people back. They decided to go after the fence-sitters, mostly politically moderate women. "This advertisement very gently does that," Kilbourn said.
A half-hour later, about 20 people sat in the living room, their eyes glued to the screen. There was silence as the former Miss USA Connecticut appeared, meeting obstacle after obstacle while trying to reach a marriage altar. She never does and the commercial ends with the words, "What would you do if you couldn't marry the person you love? Every day, thousands of gay and lesbian couples are prevented from marrying."
Kilbourn flipped the lights on and handed out donation envelopes. His organization hopes to raise enough money to get the ad on air by fall.