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DULUTH - A local couple has gained some attention a day after a commercial highlighted them as supporters of same–sex marriage in Minnesota.
Yvonne and Fred Peterson relived the scene in their daughter's yard in Duluth Friday, where they became part of a commercial filmed in the spring.
"We were surprised we did as good as we did," Yvonne said.
"Gay and lesbian people want to be married for the same reasons I wanted to marry my wife," Fred said in the commercial.
The Petersons said their grandson who is gay started to change their vision on same–sex marriage, so they supported it in the most public kind of way.
"We feel that it's very important and it's going to happen someday so why not now?" Yvonne said.
The couple said everyone should have the opportunity for the union they have had for 59 years, and admitted it forced them to change their old way of thinking.
"We were brought up in a different generation and people were looked down on," Fred said about gay people.
"They've been on a journey; a journey of acceptance." Gary Boelhower, a volunteer for Minnesotans United, said.
Representatives from the local Minnesotans United chapter said the commercial opens up a door for more discussion on the topic that will be voted up or down in November.
"This campaign really is about having conversations, about meeting people where they are," Boelhower said.
That is what the Petersons said they want from the commercial: for it to start a dialogue that some find difficult.
"Because I think most people know someone that's gay," Fred said. "I do think it's important that they have some of the same benefits and rights that we have."
Through one evening of broadcasts, the Petersons said people were starting to notice.
"People that I haven't really seen in a long time called up last night," Fred said. "[One friend] said 'I want to really thank you and Yvonne for doing this.'"
The Petersons said it has been all good feedback so far and if it negative comments come their way they are able to handle it; because, they said, it is all part of the path they have chosen to take.
The Minnesota Family Council did not return messages left Friday afternoon for a comment on the new advertisement.