A gay candidate for governor in Maryland is trolling Donald Trump by airing the first political ad to ever feature a same-sex kiss.
In a 30-second video, Democratic State Sen. Richard Madaleno highlights his record of resisting the president’s conservative agenda. His achievements as a state congressman include voting to ban assault weapons in Maryland and supporting women’s reproductive rights, both of which he claimed “already infuriate” Trump.
“And what’s the number one way I piss off Donald Trump and the Republicans?” Madaleno added, planting a kiss on his partner, Mark Hodge. “Take that, Trump.”
The advertisement is scheduled to air in advance of Maryland’s Democratic primaries on June 26 and will be broadcast on Fox News stations in the Washington, D.C. area. Fittingly titled “Take That,” the commercial will run during airings of Fox and Friends, the president’s favorite show.
Madaleno’s campaign said picking a show Trump actually watches was intentional.
“[W]e wanted to make sure the president had an opportunity to see this ad and went with the network he tunes into,” Campaign Manager Keith Presley told USA Today.
Although Hillary Clinton ran an advertisement during her 2016 presidential run depicting same-sex couples getting married, his team claimed Madaleno’s ad is the first to actually depict two people of the same gender kissing. The Victory Fund, an advocacy group dedicated to electing LGBTQ officials to office, confirmed the commercial’s historicity in a press release.
Annise Parker, president and CEO of the Victory Fund, called it an important benchmark for LGBTQ visibility.
“At a time when the White House and other anti-LGBTQ politicians are attempting to erase our visibility and rollback our rights, Rich Madaleno is boldly stating he’s proud of his family and will fight for all Marylanders if elected,” Parker said.
Madaleno and Hodge were originally married in a commitment ceremony in 2001, more than a decade before Maryland permitted legal recognition for same-sex couples. After being elected to the House of Delegates in 2002, he helped usher in the Civil Marriage Protection Act, which put the issue up to a statewide referendum. In November 2012, 52.4 percent of voters said “Yes” to marriage equality.
The couple finally received a marriage certificate in 2013.
Madaleno said the forthcoming ad is a testament to the pivotal role he played in leading “the charge for marriage equality” in Maryland, as well as demonstrating how he would lead in the governor’s office.
“[A]chieving true equality and justice for all Marylanders will be my priority as Governor,” he said in a statement. “June is LGBTQ Pride Month and I couldn’t think of a better time to release this ad. I am proud of my family, proud of my record of standing up for our progressive values and proud to be unflinching in standing up against hate. Love does truly trump hate.”
The State Senator is currently one of eight candidates running in Maryland’s Democratic primaries. According to a Washington Post-University of Maryland poll released earlier this week, Madaleno is currently in fourth place with six percent of the vote.
Currently, former president of the NAACP Benjamin Jealous leads Prince George County Executive Rushern Baker III 21 percent to 16 percent.
Should Madaleno emerge victorious in the Democratic primary race and defeat incumbent Republican Gov. Larry Hogan in the 2018 general election, he would be just the second openly LGBTQ governor in U.S. history. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, who is bisexual, is expected to win reelection in November.