Sex toys and vaginal intercourse — the 2009 ad against gay marriage that never ran

Ever since I covered the Maine premiere of the documentary “Question One” — about the 2009 same sex marriage referendum — about 11 months ago, I’ve been keeping an eye on the news surrounding the film as it debuts in other markets and its makers and subjects appear in other media reports.

Now, as a referendum on the subject returns to the Maine ballot this fall and campaigns for and against same sex marriage heat up, interest in the documentary seems to be heating back up again as well.

Over the weekend, in part to promote October openings in New York and San Francisco, the filmmakers — one of whom is gay and one of whom is straight — promised to begin releasing through their Facebook page additional outtakes cut from the final documentary. The first included a ┬ácommercial against same sex marriage that they said never reached the airwaves. At least not in the format depicted in these scenes.

Here’s one clip, in which Stand For Marriage Maine campaign chairman Marc Mutty — famously depicted throughout the documentary as conflicted about the role in the campaign of out-of-stater Frank Schubert — gets a preview of an ad suggesting that if gays and lesbians are allowed to marry, teachers may launch classroom discussions about sex toys and lesbian vaginal intercourse.

Many TV watchers may remember a somewhat toned down version of the commercial that reportedly began airing after Mutty and others in the local campaign called for strong edits.

“When I saw it, I cringed,” Mutty admitted in a second video posted on the documentary Facebook page.

When “Question One” was released, many same sex marriage advocates, who lost at the polls in 2009, pointed to the film as proof that their opponents knew their campaign ads were of questionable accuracy before they aired them.

As I interviewed the filmmakers last October, however, I got the sense that they didn’t set out to expose one campaign group or another as a fraud. And although Mutty comes off as being torn about a lot of things in the Stand For Marriage Maine effort, the film does seem to portray the people who agreed to speak to the filmmakers as honest.

Agree with their side or not, they were passionate about the issue.

Seth Koenig

About Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.