Target: Kevin Reilly, Jr., Lamar Advertising CEO
Goal: Take down homophobic billboard
An anti-gay organization posted a large billboard in Virginia, reading “Identical twins: One gay. One not. We believe twins research studies show nobody is born gay.” This message is extremely offensive and homophobic, and the sign’s location along a major highway makes it even more harmful. Many young gay men and women are exposed to this billboard daily, and it can have a strong impact on people already dealing with a homophobic society, and maybe with bullying and low self-esteem as well. Please demand that Lamar Advertising, the company which owns and manages the billboard, take it down right away and stop spreading this hateful message.
The group responsible for this billboard is a gay conversion therapy organization called PFOX, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays. The conversion therapy advocacy that PFOX focuses on, in combination with the specific message in this billboard, perpetuates some of our society’s most harmful myths about homosexuality. These messages are not simply “opinions” since they promote homophobia and can have a very negative impact on the lives of young gay people in particular.
Homophobia is not something that you should be able to advertise for. Whatever “scientific” ideas PFOX has about how and why homosexuality occurs, it can’t use them to spread hate and misinformation. Many people have protested this billboard and asked Lamar Advertising to take it down, but so far the company has refused. Let Lamar Advertising know that we won’t take no for an answer when it comes to fighting homophobia.
Dear Mr. Reilly,
I am writing to you regarding a billboard owned and managed by Lamar Advertising along I-95 in Virginia. The billboard is currently featuring an advertisement from PFOX, an anti-gay organization promoting gay conversion therapy. The message on the billboard, “nobody is born gay,” is extremely offensive and can be very harmful for gay and questioning individuals who are exposed to it. I demand that you take the billboard down immediately and stop allowing PFOX to spread false homophobic propaganda.
Especially now, when we are in the midst of an epidemic of bullying of LGBTQ youth which results in a large number of suicides, promoting homophobic messages in such public places can be very dangerous. The number of kids and teens exposed to this billboard daily is massive, and it will only teach these young people to be less tolerant of others and less confident in their own identity. This is not something you should take part in unless you want the responsibility for damaging the well-being of many young gay boys and girls in Virginia.
Please take a stand for tolerance over hatefulness and remove the homophobic billboard as soon as possible.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Benson Kua via Wikimedia Commons