Honors Theses

Date of Award

2014

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Department

Integrated Marketing Communication

First Advisor

Scott Fiene

Relational Format

Dissertation/Thesis

Abstract

The case for marriage equality is one that is becoming more and more prevalent in the States. Currently 17 states allow for the performance and recognition of same-sex marriages. The other 33 have constitutional bans on same-sex marriage. Of the 17 states that have same-sex marriage 3 of those made marriage constitutional through popular vote. This thesis sought to provide evidence and tactics for an Integrated Marketing Communications campaign that would advocate for the passing of a hypothetical ballot measure amending Mississippi's current status on same-sex marriage. This thesis compiles the research of multiple research institutions and polling services focused on the state of same-sex individuals and their families in the US and Mississippi, the state of same-sex marriage in the US and Mississippi, and the nature of research regarding LGBTQ subjects. Research also included an overview of the voting atmosphere in Mississippi and an overview of the IMC tactics that were successful for the 3 states that gained marriage equality through a ballot measure: Maine, Maryland, and Washington. From the research gathered it was discovered that a focus on the positive messages surrounding same-sex marriage would be the best way to garner support for same-sex marriage in Mississippi. 2.6% of Mississippians identify as LGBT, and 26% of same-sex couples in the state are raising children. It was also found that a significant number of Mississippians shape their attitudes around knowing someone who is LGBT or hearing positive/negative messages from friends, religious leaders, and family. Therefore the resulting campaign focused on spreading stories of positivity.

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