“Whether you’re gay or lesbian or straight, if you love someone, and you want to marry them, marry them,” Simpson said in the ad.
In March, he and three Wyoming legislators, all Republicans, added their names to a friend-of-the-court brief urging a federal court to overturn a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in Utah.
Sens. Michael Von Flatern, R-Gillette, and Ruth Ann Petroff, R-Jackson, and Rep. Dan Zwonitzer, R-Cheyenne signed it. Former Sen. Nancy L. Kassebaum of Kansas, the daughter of 1936 Republican presidential candidate Alf Landon, and 15 other Western politicians, also added their names to the petition.
Last month, state Rep. Dave Blevins, R-Powell, joined with Von Flatern, Petroff, Zwonitzer, Rep. Matthias Green, R-Laramie, Rep. Kathy Coleman, R-Sheridan, and Rep. Keith Gingery, R-Jackson, in co-signing a letter to the Casper Star-Tribune that supported same-sex mariage.
“Supporting marriage for all couples is as simple as making sure everyone has the opportunity to find love and happiness,” the letter stated. “We all strive to treat others the way we wish to be treated.”
Simpson, 82, is a Cody lawyer who grew up and has maintained a home there. He served in the Legislature before winning the first of three terms in the Senate in 1978.
The veteran politician told the Powell Tribune last year his stance in favor of same-sex marriage as well as a pro-choice position on abortion has made him unpopular with many Republicans in the state. Simpson said he doubted he could be nominated for office by the Wyoming Republican Party now.
In addition to his own political success, his father Milward served as both governor and in the U.S. Senate.
His brother Pete also served in the Legislature and ran for governor in 1986. Al Simpson’s son Colin was also a legislator and sought the GOP nomination for governor in 2010.
Al Simpson says as a Republican he believes one of the party’s core values is the right to be left alone — “live and let live,” as he said in the ad.
Simpson and his wife Ann married in 1954 and will celebrate their 60th anniversary in June. A photo from their wedding appears in the ad.
The ad, paid for by New York-based Freedom to Marry, will play on local television in Wyoming, Colorado, Utah and national cable networks.
You can watch the ad in the player below clicking here.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report.