Abba's Delight, a local "ex-gay" ministry that claims to help "sexually broken" people with "same-sex attractions" and "lifestyles incompatible with biblical teaching on sexuality," posted the sign in the Highlands neighborhood. It reads: "Not everyone who is gay is happy. You have options."
LEO Weekly reports that the billboard is "just a stone's throw away" from three gay bars, and Will Kohler of Back2Stonewall adds that the sign is "strategically placed" in one of Louisville's most densely LGBT-populated neighborhoods.
Predictably, Daniel Mingo, a self-proclaimed "ex-gay" and the executive director of Abba's Delight, denies that the billboard is aimed at happy gays. "This specifically targets people who have same-sex attractions that are unwanted," he told WDRB. "Abba's Delight is a ministry that helps people of faith who are uncomfortable with their same-sex attractions." He elaborated further in a statement emailed to LEO Weekly:
"The selection of that specific location for the billboard was based on availability. I am aware that the Highlands area of Louisville is heavily gay populated, but I was not aware of the billboard's proximity to any gay bars. I am aware of only one gay bar in the city, and the only reason I know of that one is because it was across the street from a former employer's office. Having walked away from homosexuality over 20 years ago, the whereabouts of gay bars in Louisville is not something with which [sic] I have stayed aware."
The Fairness Campaign, a Louisville equality advocacy group that does housing and employment equality, LGBT civil rights, and anti-racism work, slammed the billboard and the thoroughly discredited and dangerous junk science peddled by Abba's Delight. Director Chris Hartman called the sign's placement in an LGBT-friendly neighborhood a "sad and shameful" act of "degenerate desperation," adding:
With more than 90% of people who have been through ministries like Abba's claiming they have been harmed by the program, and nearly 85% of participants saying that harm still affects them today, it's time to shut the program down.
No business I know that sells increased depression and suicide rates among its participants and leaves many with PTSD experiences is
successful. Abba's Delight and programs like it are a straight up sham-don't buy the snake oil.
The "ex-gay" billboard is scheduled to run for 90 days.
Watch WDRB-TV's report on the kerfuffle -- and meet the Please-Believe-Me-I'm-Totally-Not-Gay-Anymore Daniel Mingo, founder of Abba's Delight -- after the jump.