Reno jeweler's commercial features same-sex couple

AP News
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Posted: Jan 09, 2016 6:34 PM

RENO, Nev. (AP) — A Reno commercial depicting two women getting engaged has been playing on local TV stations and in movie theaters and drawing little backlash, according to the jeweler who sought the advertisement.

"If anything, it was a risk on me being a small business in Nevada," BVW owner Britten Wolf said. "I love our state but you don't know how that's going to hit people here. Being a small business, it takes a few people here and there and you could have some adverse effects."

Still, Wolf was afraid his company might get blacklisted from industry events. So far, a small number of complaints have been from women who saw the ad on TV, he told the Reno Gazette-Journal (http://on.rgj.com/1OaeGmQ ). The ad mostly airs during commercial breaks during broadcasts of Ellen DeGeneres' talk show.

The commercial shows a same-sex couple riding through Reno in a Mercedes-Benz. Then one woman proposes to another on the Crystal Peak Toll Bridge overlooking the Truckee River.

Jeromy Manke, president of a Reno group advocating for LGBT awareness in northern Nevada, said ads like that can help encourage acceptance.

The company is part of a growing trend of companies, including Target and IKEA, recognizing the purchasing power of the gay and lesbian community.

A National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce report released in June 2015 estimates the combined buying power of the LGBT population to be worth more than $880 billion. According to the Pew Research Center, 35 percent of Americans opposed same-sex marriage in 2001. Today, 55 percent support it.

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Information from: Reno Gazette-Journal, http://www.rgj.com