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Gay advocacy group is using billboards to counteract hurtful messages

Billboard in Dayton,  Ohio
Have A Gay Day
/
Have A Gay Day
Billboard in Dayton, Ohio

The group is putting up billboards in Ohio and 14 other states where it says legislation that hurts LGBTQ+ people is being considered.

Ohio and some other states are considering legislation that is considered hateful by LGBTQ+ Ohioans. The director of an advocacy group for gay people says some governments have gone as far as removing from their websites numbers for suicide hotlines that serve the LGBTQ community. So the group is fighting back by putting up billboards to make people think about the message that’s being sent by those bills.

Michael Knote with the Dayton-based organization, Have A Gay Day, says billboards are being put up in 15 states, displaying messages like, “Be careful who you hate. It could be someone you love.” Knote says his group is working with other national LGBTQ+ groups to make sure members of their community know they are not alone.

“There’s all of these people who are against the community. There’s all of these laws being passed. Some of them are very divisive and some of them are confusing. And we just wanted to make a clear message of support and love to everyone,” Knote says.

Children in Delaware, Ohio hold a homemade sign advocating for equality after a local library prohibited drag queens from reading to children
Jo Ingles
/
Statehouse News Bureau
Children in Delaware, Ohio hold a homemade sign advocating for equality after a local library prohibited drag queens from reading to children

Not everyone likes the message. Knote says billboard companies have refused to allow the colorful billboards with gay-affirming messages. But that's not stopping the group. He says his group made its goal within hours of putting the appeal for money for the signs, getting nearly $4000 for the 15 billboards.

The group isn't stopping at the 15 billboards. Knote says it is planning more of them in the future.

Contact Jo Ingles at jingles@statehousenews.org.
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