The billboard, paid for by Citizens For Transparency, is intended to spotlight the consistent anti-LGBTQ agenda of Alliance Defending Freedom, the hate group our president loves.
Taylor Knighting | December 3, 2018
Last week, Times Square was illuminated with a giant display of seemingly homophobic rhetoric. A billboard read “NO GAYS ALLOWED” in big, bold lettering followed by this message: “STOP Alliance Defending Freedom, Learn more at NoGays.org.”
While the message, which alternated with others reading “NO LESBIANS ALLOWED,” “NO BISEXUALS ALLOWED,” and “NO TRANS ALLOWED,” appears at first glance to be anti-LGBTQ, the website listed on the billboard redirects viewers to a webpage dedicated to shedding light on the indecency of the anti-LGBTQ hate group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).
Citizens for Transparency is the advocacy group behind the installation of the billboard, and the creators of NoGays.org. They are hoping that their billboard helps people to recognize the ADF for the ways it has made life harder for LGBTQ people in the U.S.
Caleb Cade, spokesperson for Citizens for Transparency, told NBC that the billboard is an effort “…to remind people that there are still really insidious forces at work against our community. ADF has been leading that war for a long time, with tens of millions of dollars to do it.”
According to the website, the ADF is “a powerful legal and advocacy group that raises $50 million a year to push anti-LGBT policies in courts and legislatures across the country and around the world.”
The ADF has spent a lot of money and time in recent years supporting legislation and judicial actions designed to make life for LGBTQ people insanely difficult and, in some cases, outright criminal. Recently, they’ve worked with the owner of the infamous Masterpiece Cakeshop to sue Colorado’s government for attempting to enforce anti-discrimination laws protecting LGBTQ people from harassment and denial of service.
Here in Virginia, the ADF has defended the Marshall-Newman Amendment, the 2006 amendment to Virginia’s Constitution that defines marriage as between one man and one woman. That amendment isn’t legally enforceable right now, but it remains on the law books, needing only an unfavorable Supreme Court decision to put it back in force. They’ve also worked with Virginia Republicans attempting to pass “religious freedom” laws that would enable business owners to discriminate against LGBTQ employees and customers without legal repercussions.
The ADF has introduced a detailed manual to enable Christian business owners to legally discriminate against LGBTQ people; the manual explains how business owners can legally dictate employees’ appearance, health care benefits, self-expression, work ethic, and many more unfathomable regulations.
ADF advocates in favor of conversion therapy, a practice of therapy that aims to convert LGBTQ individuals to heterosexuality through psychological and spiritual conditioning. Not only is the ADF hellbent on making lives for queer folks impossibly difficult, but their underlying goal is to try to eradicate as many gay people as they can in the process.
As if exploiting LGBTQ people in courts in favor of rewarding bigoted businessmen wasn’t enough, the ADF has also made LGBTQ children targets in their hateful campaign. They’ve gone after children of same-sex couples, and in 2015, the ADF created a bill entitled “Student Physical Privacy Act,” which would award $2,000 to any student who discovered another student using a facility that didn’t correspond with the gender they were assigned at birth. In the two years after ADF sent this model bill to conservative legislatures, it was introduced in Minnesota, Kansas, and at least five other states.
Despite all of their flagrant anti-LGBTQ efforts over the past several years, Center For Transparency still feels that the ADF’s negative efforts are flying under the radar of the general public. This billboard is intended to fight back against that fact. “We want to remind people that there are still really insidious forces at work against our community,” Cade said. “ADF has been leading that war for a long time, with tens of millions of dollars to do it.”
Center For Transparency has a lot of work to do, though; ADF currently has strong connections with the Trump administration. Recently-departed former Attorney General Jeff Sessions even told ADF’s Summit On Religious Liberty earlier this year that they “are not a hate group.” It’s likely that the ADF’s efforts against the LGBTQ community will get a favorable reception in government, at least until such a time that we get a new administration into office.
Photo via Caleb Cade/Citizens For Transparency