A “NO GAYS ALLOWED” sign has appeared above Times Square on Tuesday (November 13), but it might not be as bad as you imagine.
As NBC News reports, the sign, which has a smaller message at the bottom reading, “STOP Alliance Defending Freedom. Learn more at NoGays.org,” is actually in support of LGBTQ rights.
The sign is much like the “I Hate Steven Singer” signs, which are actually negatively-worded but creative advertisements for a jewelry store. In this case, the billboard was created by pro-LGBTQ group Citizens of Transparency.
Caleb Cade, a spokesperson for Citizens of Transparency, says that the negatively worded billboard uses the rhetoric of Christian-based hate group Alliance Defending Freedom to shine a light on them.
“We want to remind people that there are still really insidious forces at work against our community,” Cade said to NBC News. “ADF has been leading that war for a long time, with tens of millions of dollars to do it.”
But what did the ADF do to become the COF’s target? The organization has repeatedly supported legal battles over religious freedom.
For example, the ADF supported the Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jake Phillips during his Supereme Court battle. In addition, the organization is defending a professor who received a warning from his Ohio-based university after he refused to address a transgender student by her preferred gender terms. Then on top of that, they are also defending a funeral home that fired a transgender employee due to their religious beliefs.
The website in which the campaign sign refers to also tries to point out the anti-LGBTQ rhetoric that ADF spreads.
That said, ADF itself says that this campaign is based on lies.
“ADF is one the nation’s most respected and successful Supreme Court advocates, working to preserve our fundamental freedoms of speech, religion and conscience,” wrote ADF senior counsel Jeremy Tedesco to NBC News. “ADF is not litigating any cases, pursuing any legislation, nor supporting the passage of any laws domestically or internationally that criminalize sodomy.”
In addition, the Citizens for Transparency’s message seems to be getting lost in translation as first responses to the sign are showing.
With the upfront message being so bold and glaring, it’s a wonder how many are taking the time to see the real story behind it.
If spreading hate to expose hate is what the Citizens for Transparency are trying to do, they have succeeded. But, is more harm than good being done?