Alex Blaze

Pro-Gay Billboard Causes Stir

Filed By Alex Blaze | April 28, 2011 3:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality, Media
Tags: billboard, New York, planned parenthood

Another pro-gay billboard in New York state is making people mad, including a state senator who says it's a political message to support same-sex marriage even though it doesn't mention marriage at all (text version at link):

This is why I like pro-gay billboards - they confront people who normally would be able to avoid any positive message about LGBT people by watching Fox News, listening to hate radio, and reading conservative media. The people saying they hate it are pretty much the reason it needed to go up.

This isn't the first time we've heard about gay billboards funded by New York state causing controversy. A campaign in Schenectady targeted towards African Americans also caused people to say they were worried for their children.

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On the one hand, the people who are offended are, yes, wrong, homophobic, etc.

On the other hand, it's a daft billboard. Only gay men "in love" count? Planned Parenthood couldn't find any other way to express its support for queers, other than to fix them permanently as always-coupled?

As someone who's in love, I'll stand by the proposition that we're simply better than you loveless souls.

Do you want me to set you up with a desperate lesbian? You'd be so perfect for each other... She loves dogs, hates challenging authority, and likes to hunt big game at her cabin in northern Wisconsin.

OK, maybe not so perfect, but at least you wouldn't be so loooooooonely.

All kidding aside, the Advocate says that this was part of a 5-year grant to help fight health disparities in rural LGBT populations by letting people know that they're there, and Planned Parenthood took the opportunity to put in such a message. I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't have the funding for more.

Yasmin, one or both of us should write about this -- about how in the age of gay marriage, an individual's (individual!) queer identity is largely invisible, not taken seriously, etc. unless they are same-sex hitched for life.

Wow, I missed that Schenectady story. That's my old neck of the woods. Interesting.

When I first saw this, I assumed it was about the Italian IKEA advert.

Yasmin, it's a two-dimensional ad, not a commandment from God ordering YOU to get hitched to a woman. Stop being an ultraleftist.

I agree with Yasmin -- it would be money better spent if they used a montage of many couples, male, female, white, non-white, inter-racial, etc.

This is a free speech country and we have a perfect right to put out our message (not necessarily at govt expense, though) ... I don't know how many pro-life, fundamentalist church, and NRA billboards I have to put up with!

I heard somebody recently say it well (and, sorry, I don't remember who it was, and this is my para-phrasing):

The price of almost totally free speech is that you must tolerate messages that you might vehemently disagree with.

And that applies to all of us ... including fundamentalist Christians.

Om Kalthoum | April 28, 2011 10:09 PM

I know when I think of Planned Parenthood the first thing that comes into my mind is two gay guys. Or the first thing I think of when I see two cute gay guys snuggling is Planned Parenthood. Or something.

As if gay people don't pay taxes and don't deserve to have their interests promoted. Hmmm...maybe I should did out an old battle cry. "No taxation without representation"

But it's all about protecting the kids, doncha know that?

Seriously, this is about one of the most bland and inoffensive billboards they could have come up with - and it still gets this type of reaction. Sigh.

Hopefully the NY legislature will take a look at what the majority of New Yorkers actually feel like these days when the vote comes up this year.

The "I don't want my kids seeing things like this!" objection is a silly but very politically effective ruse ... if a six-year-old sees a man and a woman in a car ad, the straight parents don't rush to explain to the child how babies are made in the back seat ... but if there are two men in the ad, the parents worry that the child will immediately develop questions about "But what do they do when they're in bed?"

Totally absurd!

twinkie1cat | April 30, 2011 2:11 PM

When I win the lottery, one of the first things I will do is buy an electronic billboard and the property surrounding it and but up pro-gay and anti-Republican messages. They will say things like "Real Christians don't vote Republican" and "Real Christians support the gay community, because Jesus did." They will be unable to touch them because they will be privately owned and on private property.

Do we have a rich gay person somewhere in America who could pull off something like this and also fund some of the pro-glbt churches with TV programs preaching the real message of Jesus Christ, that he loves and accepts us just the way we are?