Notwithstanding the apparently homophobic message, the Times Square billboard is not what it initially seems.
The billboard is supported by a group of LGBT+ activists who launched the “No Gays Allowed” campaign and is intended to shock and to call attention to the heinous anti-LGBT+ mission of the group Alliance Defending Freedom, an ultra-conservative party that has carried several cases seeking to undermine LGBT+ anti-discrimination protections across the US, according to a press release.
The Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, Mara Keisling, called ADF “the most relentlessly extreme anti-trans law group.”
In the 25 years since it was established, ADF has supported the recriminalisation of homosexuality in the U.S. and criminalisation abroad; defended state-sanctioned sterilization of trans people abroad, linked homosexuality to pedophilia, and has claimed that the “homosexual agenda” will destroy Christianity and society, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
It represented a Colorado baker who refused to create a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, whereby violating state anti-discrimination law, in a case that went the Supreme Court, where the baker won a qualified victory. It has now asked the high court to review a case in which it is advocating for a funeral home’s right to fire an employee because she is transgender.
The advert directs users to NoGaysAllowed.org, a website that warns: “ADF opposes LGBT+ equality and advocates for measures intended to make LGBT people second-class citizens”.
“ADF has actively supported measures domestically and abroad that would, and have, put LGBT+ people in jail for being open about their sexuality.”
A video posted on their website accuses the ADF of “trying to erase LGBT+ people and take away their basic rights under the guise of religious freedom.”
An activist organisation known as Citizens for Transparency declared responsibility for the billboard ad.
Spokesperson Caleb Cade told NBC: “We want to remind people that there are still really insidious forces at work against our community.
“And that’s really important, to start a conversation, and to have that conversation be in response to this billboard, not the messaging of the ADF.”
“ADF has been leading that war for a long time, with tens of millions of dollars to do it.”
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