WASHINGTON (AP) — The dean of Washington National Cathedral is speaking out in support of gay marriage in a new advertisement airing in advance of next week’s Supreme Court arguments on same-sex marriage.

The Respect for Marriage Coalition, which advocates for gay marriage rights, announced its newest ad entitled “Journey” on Friday. It comes as several new public opinion polls show greater support for same-sex marriage than just a few years ago.

The ad says a growing number of Americans believe it’s time to allow marriage for gays and lesbians. It features people talking about their gay friends, family members and neighbors who want to marry. The Very Rev. Gary Hall, the National Cathedral dean, appears in his clerical collar and speaks briefly about a gay couple in his ministry.

Hall announced in January that the National Cathedral will begin hosting same-sex marriages.

Cathedral spokesman Richard Weinberg said the church intends to continue advocating for equality for gays and lesbians. Hall plans to speak at a rally Tuesday at the Supreme Court.

“The cathedral’s continued involvement in advocacy related to LGBT equality is grounded in our faith,” Weinberg said, referring to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community “One of Jesus’ great commandments was to love our neighbors as ourselves, and the dean’s participation in this ad is a way of saying that there are people of faith who believe gay couples should have the freedom to marry.”

The $150,000 ad buy is part of a larger $1 million campaign. It will air in Washington around the Sunday political talk shows and the following weekend.

The Respect for Marriage Coalition is led by the group Freedom to Marry and the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest gay rights organization. The campaign is also supported by major unions, including the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers, and other diversity groups and advocacy organizations.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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