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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

Ohio and some other states are considering legislation that is considered hateful by LGBTQ+ Ohioans. The director of an LGBTQ+ advocacy group said 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, said billboards are being put up in 15 states, displaying messages like, “Be careful who you hate. It could be someone you love.” Knote said 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,” said Knote.

 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 said some billboard companies have refused to allow the colorful billboards with gay-affirming messages, but that's not stopping the group. Knote said 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 said the group is planning to put up more of them in the future.

Copyright 2022 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.