Amazon’s (AMZN) new Kindle Paperwhite commercial has a twist: The attractive man and woman having a poolside chat about e-readers are both married—to men. The ad is not the first to feature same-sex couples, but it is likely the first on mainstream TV that uses the word “husband” to refer to a gay man’s partner.
The number of gay-themed ads outside LGBT media is also on a rapid rise. From 2011 to 2012, mainstream ads with gay couples increased from less than five to more than a dozen, according to the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. One likely reason: The buying power of American LGBT consumers last year was $790 billion, estimates Witeck Communications. Here’s a sampling of gay ads over the years.