Page last updated at 15:43 GMT, Saturday, 18 October 2008 16:43 UK

DeGeneres urges gay marriage vote

Ellen Degeneres and Portia de Rossi
De Rossi (left) and DeGeneres began dating in 2004

US talk show host Ellen DeGeneres has bought $100,000 of TV airtime to back gay marriage.

The 50-year-old will urge Californians to vote to save the right to gay marriage during the state ballot in November, campaign organisers said.

Same-sex unions were legalised in May, but Proposition 8 seeks to define marriage as between a man and a woman only under the state constitution.

DeGeneres married her partner, actress Portia de Rossi, in August.

'Compassion'

Her TV advert will be screened in the run-up to the state ballot on 4 November.

DeGeneres will tell viewers that opponents of gay marriage are "twisting the truth", and will appeal to people to vote for "compassion and fairness".

Recent opinion polls have shown a swing in the number of Californians who oppose same-sex marriage.

Opponents of have stepped up their own TV advertising campaign, warning that children will be taught about gay marriage in primary schools.

Gay marriage supporters have called that argument misleading.

DeGeneres made broadcasting history in 1997 when her TV alter ego came out of the closet on her self-titled sitcom Ellen, becoming the first openly gay lead character on US prime-time network TV.


SEE ALSO
Ellen scoops Daytime Emmy honour
21 Jun 08 |  Entertainment
TV's Ellen to wed actress partner
17 May 08 |  Entertainment
Strike keeps Ellen in Los Angeles
15 Nov 07 |  Entertainment
DeGeneres rules at Daytime Emmys
16 Jun 07 |  Entertainment
DeGeneres meets Oscar challenge
26 Feb 07 |  Entertainment


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific