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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Flanked by supportive colleagues, a Fort Worth police officer is taking a stand for gay marriage. He’s being featured in commercials now airing in Texas’ largest cities.

In the ad Chris Gorrie explains, “I became a police officer in 2006.” Fellow Officer Monica Jackson affirms, “Chris makes a sacrifice everyday along with the rest of us.”

Officer Gorrie is now using his role as public servant, to fight for the freedom to live his private life as he chooses. Officer Gorrie is gay.

“Having the freedom to marry who I want to marry is just as important as having the freedom to speak to you, and drive my car,” he said. “There’s certain things that I feel like I should be able to do without having to ask for permission.”

The 30-year-old says in spite of the negative publicity heaped on Fort Worth following a notorious 2009 raid at the Rainbow Lounge, a gay bar, he has never been mistreated at the department. Now, he says it’s time to step out of the shadows.

Kevin Nix is the communications director for Freedom to Marry. “Sharing his story resonates with people.”

Freedom to Marry is the group behind the ad campaign. The commercials are airing just days before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments in the case challenging Texas’ ban on gay marriage. Oral arguments for the same-sex marriage cases in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi are set to begin January 9.

“Gay people want the same opportunity and freedom and liberty that we feel strongly about in Texas applied to them,” Nix said.

The groups behind the ad say they aren’t hoping to influence the appeals court. But, they are hoping to move the needle in the court of public opinion, by prompting dinner table conversations in communities across Texas.

Speaking of the gay rights movement Officer Gorrie said, “I’ve seen the thaw and the ice will definitely crack soon.”

Many court watchers believe regardless of what happens at the 5th Circuit, the Supreme Court will ultimately decide the issue of gay marriage.

(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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