Skip to comments."I am Gay" billboards ignite controversy among African Americans
Posted on 01/17/2011 9:16:16 AM PST by scottjewell
The colorful attention-grabbing billboards of gay black men in a church and on the basketball court are creating a firestorm of controversy on an issue that continues to drive a wedge in segments of the African-American community.
City Councilman Joseph Allen said Friday that he came in for both scorn and support after publicly expressing his displeasure this week that the billboards send the wrong message to impressionable youngsters, particularly those being raised by single mothers who may not have positive male role models.
"This kind of billboard is putting the stamp of approval on a gay lifestyle," said Allen, who is black and insists he is not homophobic.
He said he has talked with the city lawyer about taking down the billboards in Schenectady but was told the advertisements are protected under First Amendment rights.
Tandra R. LaGrone, executive director of Albany-based In our Own Voices, said the group is sponsoring the awareness campaign because it is consistent with the mission of promoting the health and welfare of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people of color.
"I thought it would be useful and pertinent to have the campaign in the Capital Region because of the numbers for HIV and AIDS among gay black males have has risen significantly," she said. "You have to start from a place of respect in order to address the stigma and homophobia of being a black gay man."
There are a total of 18 billboards in Schenectady, Albany, Rensselaer and Montgomery counties along with ads on buses and bus shelters, said Peter Constantakes, spokesman with the state Department of Health which gave $50,300 to the campaign.
"This is targeting a group that is reluctant to get tested or to use a condom or other protection," said Constantakes, adding that across the country, black males are one of the fastest-growing groups being infected with the virus that causes AIDS. "There is the stigma that they are keeping everything secretive and are afraid to get tested."
The campaign is modeled after similar ones in Long Island, Rochester and New York City, Constantakes and LeGrone said.
LeGrone called Allen's remarks especially "frightening" considering he is an elected official and black. "He is looking at his constituency as strictly being heterosexual individuals," she said, adding that the message is that gay black men make up every segment of society and are here to stay.
In one of the ads, three men kneel at a basketball with the message, "This is where I play," while another shows an older man with a clerical collar and Bible standing in pew behind a younger man that says, "This is where I pray."
Pastor Richard Parsons of Consecration Temple Church of God Christ in Schenectady said the message he gets when he sees the billboards is that homosexuality is OK. "It's directly against God's word and what God hates, I hate," he said.
Paul Webster, president of the Schenectady chapter of the NAACP, said he would rather see black activists, politicians and clergy tackle the problems of gangs, guns and violence that are addling the community.
The billboards' over-arching message is, he said, about "preserving families and protecting people," Webster said.
Read more: http://www.timesunion.com/default/article/I-am-gay-billboards-igniting-controversy-957981.php#ixzz1BJMzktAf
That's not at all the way I see it, Mr Webster.
I’m curious if that Bible the guy is holding has these verses:
Lev. 18:22, “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.”1
Lev. 20:13, “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltness is upon them”
1 Cor. 6:9-10, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”
Rom. 1:26-28, “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. 28And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper.”
who the hell thought THIS was a good way to spend money??????
I don’t think these are going to go over so well
You’ll notice the elected “victim”’s first impulse was to shut down the speech because he disagreed with it. He’s used to being able to do that by crying racism.
I am GAY
And this is where I SASHAY.
“The billboards’ over-arching message is, he said, about.....protecting people.”
Yet another deployment of the violence against queers mythology.
(Ooops! CAUTION- inflamatory language alert!)
Get off the plantations and join the people working hard to save America.
NOW where’s the left-wing media commenting on “teabaggers”?
Celebrating their sins.
Wrong message to send.
This is where I PRANCE.
How about a billboard that says "In your heart, you KNOW it's a sin." erected during "Gay Pride Month"?
Using the words “drive a wedge” might not be the best choice for an article about homosexuals.
It has to rhyme with “Gay”, otherwise you’ll expose yourself as a homo. heh heh
The homosexuals are targeting the demographic which voted in favor of california’s proposition 8.
I am surprised those billboards are still un grafitied.
Shouldn’t the “This is where I PLAY” billboard have a picture of the guys standing in the park bathroom?
Might be from Obam's STASH
This is where I PRANCE.
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