The first television ads in support of gay marriage in Maine began airing Thursday.

The sixty-second ad called “Together” is being paid for by EqualityMaine Foundation, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), and the Maine Civil Liberties Union Foundation (MCLU).

“We've been talking with Mainers for three years about our state's gay and lesbian families,” said Betsy Smith, Executive Director of EqualityMaine Foundation, in a statement. “We're simply taking that conversation and going directly into Maine kitchens and living rooms where families most often have these discussions.”

Maine's Legislature passed and Governor John Baldacci signed into law the gay marriage bill over the objections of the Catholic Church in May. The law was scheduled to take effect on September 12 but was put on hold when foes turned in sufficient signatures to force a “people's veto.”

Opponents of the law organized into the Stand for Marriage Maine coalition, which includes the National Organization for Marriage, the nation's most vociferous opponent of gay marriage, and the Catholic Diocese of Portland.

“Together” tightly hones a message of Maine values by splicing together testimony from Maine parents and children – some gay, and some straight.

“Something happens when you cross the border into this state. … There's just something about Maine that makes it different.”

“It's the people,” Erik Anderson of Freeport says.

“Maine ways,” Sara Jane Elliott of Scarborogh says.

“You know in Maine no one tells anyone else how to live,” Dan Lawson of Monroe says.

“We don't make one set of rules for some and another set for others. That's why everyone should be able to marry the person they love,” the Johnston Family of Cape Elizabeth says.

“Here in Maine, together we can protect equality,” everyone says.

“This ad captures the tenor and tone of what we hear over and over again from Mainers about marriage equality,” Shenna Bellows, executive director of MCLU, said in a statement. “More and more people understand that in Maine, we believe that all families should be treated equally and that people should simply be able to marry the person they love.”