"All God's Children" Campaign

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The "All God's Children" Campaign is an effort by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) to challenge religious opposition to the legalization of same-sex marriage and promote LGBT acceptance in the Southern United States. "All God's Children" Campaign_sentence_0

According to the HRC, the program was designed to "change hearts and minds, improve the public perception and overall awareness of LGBT people, begin to reduce the painful stigma that many face in their daily lives, and help future efforts to enact pro-equality legislation." "All God's Children" Campaign_sentence_1

The program targeted Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas – all states that had no form of housing, employment, or marriage protections for LGBT citizens. "All God's Children" Campaign_sentence_2

Background "All God's Children" Campaign_section_0

The Southern United States is far more culturally conservative than the North. "All God's Children" Campaign_sentence_3

In the early 2000s, while northern states began legalizing same-sex marriage, many southern states were passing laws banning it. "All God's Children" Campaign_sentence_4

However, southern support as a whole rose an entire 26 percentage points from 2003 to 2013, leaving the south currently split about evenly on the issue of same-sex marriage. "All God's Children" Campaign_sentence_5

Scholars suggest that some of the factors leading to this cultural change include generational differences, the "friends and family effect," and a new appreciation for the separation of church and state. "All God's Children" Campaign_sentence_6

Approximately 64% of Southerners can say that they know someone who is gay or lesbian, a factor that is considered crucial for support of legislation such as same-sex marriage. "All God's Children" Campaign_sentence_7

Even so, with a score of 55, the south holds the lowest regional social climate index score for the LGBT community in the United States. "All God's Children" Campaign_sentence_8

Same-sex couples with kids have a household income that averages about $11,000 lower than heterosexual couples. "All God's Children" Campaign_sentence_9

Gay and bisexual men in the south hold higher HIV infection rates than those in other parts of the country; additionally, only ​⁄475% of southern LGBT people are covered by health insurance. "All God's Children" Campaign_sentence_10

"Discomfort" with exposure to LGBT lifestyles, such as attending a same-sex wedding or seeing pictures of a coworker with a same-sex partner, polls about 5-10 percentage points higher in the South than in northern states. "All God's Children" Campaign_sentence_11

Additionally, the chosen states are heavily religious; for example, more than half of Mississippi residents are members of the southern Baptist church. "All God's Children" Campaign_sentence_12

Because of this, the Human Rights Campaign refers to Mississippi, their target audience for the early stages of the All God's Children campaign, as being "the most religious state in America." "All God's Children" Campaign_sentence_13

Mississippi also has no statewide protects for LGBT people and, in 2014, passed a law allowing businesses to refuse services to LGBT people. "All God's Children" Campaign_sentence_14

Strategy "All God's Children" Campaign_section_1

The "All God's Children" project included phone banking, TV commercials, banner ads, and "direct-mail" messages. "All God's Children" Campaign_sentence_15

The ad campaign featured testimonies from Christian parents of LGBT children, gay army veterans, and transgender students to appeal towards the religious community. "All God's Children" Campaign_sentence_16

The Mississippi campaign itself was expected to cost approximately $310,000, out of a total of $8.5 million including Alabama and Arkansas over the course of three years. "All God's Children" Campaign_sentence_17

The first television commercials aired in November 2014 in Mississippi, two days before a federal court hearing on a state law banning same-sex marriage. "All God's Children" Campaign_sentence_18

Response "All God's Children" Campaign_section_2

The American Family Association of Mississippi, however, issued a retaliatory statement in November arguing that the "[normalization of] homosexuality in the southern states" would not be acceptable to their program. "All God's Children" Campaign_sentence_19

Others argued that the campaign wouldn't be enough to change the hearts of "biblically literate Christians." "All God's Children" Campaign_sentence_20

Southern Protestants, especially those in the Southern Baptist Convention, are alleged to be the most vehemently opposed to the expansion of LGBT protections in the south. "All God's Children" Campaign_sentence_21

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/"All God's Children" Campaign.