"God Loves Gays" Billboards Are Popping Up Across America

Dearborn Heights, Michigan has become the latest town to get a billboard reminding residents that "God Loves Gays." But as the Detroit Metro Times reports, the message alternates on a digital billboard screen with an explicitly anti-gay advertisement for the organization Restrain the Judges, sending gullible passersby into a hopeless limbo state.

God Loves Gays Billboard

Anti-LGBT Billboard Michigan

The pro-gay billboard is the third of its kind to recently pop up in cities across the U.S. and is part of a national billboard campaign that has raised nearly $17,000 so far, according to the website of YouCaring, which organized the campaign. The website notes that before Dearborn Heights, billboards appeared in Orem, Utah, and Salt Lake City, Utah. YouCaring also lists tentative locations to erect billboards in at least 48 cities spanning 17 states and the District of Columbia.

LGBT Billboard Utah

Per the website:

There are so many young LGBTQ kids who face daily bullying just for who they are. Sadly all too often LGBTQ teens take their own lives due to the extreme lack of acceptance they face from their family, religious institution, or bigoted bullies. It is extremely important that this message of love is spread throughout the world. 

According to the Huffington Post, the billboard campaign was started by the group behind the God Facebook page, which was itself launched to pushback against the Westboro Baptist Church, whose followers are known for their controversial stance that links tragedies like 9/11 to the nation's acceptance of homosexuality. According to a statement from the group's website, the billboards are meant to spread a message of equality and acceptance. 

The God Loves Gays billboard is intended to send a positive message of love into the world. Love is more powerful than hate. Perhaps the "God Loves Gays" message will make a few people think about their beliefs. Or perhaps a few Michigan LGBTQ teens struggling with their identity will see the message "God Loves Gays" and feel a little better.

The same group made headlines last year when it raised over $80,000 through an Indiegogo campaign to erect a "God Loves Gays" billboard in Topeka, Kansas, the hometown of Westboro Baptist Church. 

In response, Westboro issued a characteristically fanatic statement sent to Mashable at the time.

"Thank God for that lying billboard! Every soul that sees it will either rejoice for the lie and the vain hope of afflicting the servants of God at WBC," Shirley Phelps-Roper, a spokesperson for the Church tells Mashable via email. "Or, they will sign and mourn for that awful sin and all the parts of it, knowing that every single soul that weighed in with money or words, in favor of that lying billboard, will stand before God in the Judgement, so very ashamed. Knowing also, that when they stand before God in the judgement, it will be TOO LATE for repentance, and eternal torment will follow." 

June is LGBT Pride month. To learn about the surprisingly violent history of Pride, watch this video:

The Surprisingly Violent History of LGBT Pride Month

The Surprisingly Violent History of LGBT Pride Month

Posted by ATTN: on Sunday, June 7, 2015