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Gap promotes equality in new holiday campaign

Just in time for the holiday season, Gap's new inclusive ads seek to promote all kinds of love.
/ Source: Melissa Harris Perry

Just in time for the holiday season, Gap's new inclusive ads seek to promote all kinds of love.

Gap is continuing its tradition of supporting the LGBT community through new holiday ads as part of the company’s “Love Comes In Every Shade” campaign.

In one of the photos released on Gap’s Facebook page for the holiday ads, musician Rufus Wainwright and his husband, Jorn Weisbrodt, are featured under the category “married love.” In a statement released by Gap CMO Seth Farbman:

This campaign features some well-known actors, musicians and their loved ones, all wearing clothes from our new holiday collection. Their personal relationships help remind us that every family is unique and often goes beyond just those we’re related to—it also includes the people we share our lives and deepest passions with. This campaign celebrates these diverse, optimistic views on family and the many forms love can take.

The campaign also features the cast of NBC’s The New Normal, a show dedicated to exploring the expanding definition of family in America.

This is not the first time the company has used advertising to promote a message of equality. In May, Gap released its “Be One” campaign that featured billboards and bus ads of two men—real-life couple Tony-nominated actor Rory O’Malley and his boyfriend Gerold Schroeder—cuddling inside one t-shirt.

The Human Rights Campaign has listed Gap as one of 2012′s “Best Places to Work,” giving it a 100% in its equality index. Gap has also participated in the anti-bullying “It Gets Better” campaign to promote tolerance in schools last year.

Gap is one of several retail corporations who have created campaigns to promote equality. For both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, J.C. Penney featured same-sex couples in the store’s catalogues. Ray-Ban released an ad in April showing two men holding hands with the words “Never Hide” on the photo. And in 2007, Levi’s filmed two versions of the same commercial spot for 501 jeans—one featuring a heterosexual couple and one featuring a same-sex couple.

Over the last year, both Gap and J.C. Penney campaigns have been the targets of protests from conservative group One Million Moms. But neither company backed down in their advertisements.

For more about the expanding definition of family, catch a discussion from Saturday between Melissa Harris-Perry and her guests about same-sex parenting and the fight for policies to support these families.