Gay and lesbian couples are noticeably missing from ads running in four states with gay marriage referendums, and mainstream media outlets are taking a closer look.

Voters in two states, Maryland and Washington state, will decide to either uphold or repeal gay marriage laws approved by lawmakers. Proponents in Maine put the issue up to a popular vote three years after they lost the right at the ballot box. And Minnesota voters will be asked whether to amend their state constitution to define marriage as a heterosexual union.

Most of the ads feature allies speaking up for gay couples, not gay men or lesbians.

“Our ads are meant to make sure that the people who are to decide this race on election day. These ads are meant to reflect who they are and to help them connect with people just like them,” Richard Carlbom of Minnesota United for All Families told the AP.

Alexander Zachary of Minneapolis said he got the feeling that the campaigns believe voters do not want to see gay people on television.

“In my head, the only thing I can think of is that they hired a political strategist and they said, 'Straight people don't want to see gay people on TV,'” he said. “And that's the direction that they chose to go.”