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.
If they wanted to put up billboards in the black community to promote keeping families together, the message would be about staying with the baby mama, not siring kids and running off or getting run off.
This is where I PRANCE... OKAY-HEY?!!
The impression from those billboards is that ALL young black males are homosexuals.
well that is a way to kill off attendance at basketball games.
Ironically missing is the billboard showing a cemetery filled with the disproportionate number of black homosexual AIDS cases:
I am gay
And here’s where I lay
lol, keep diggin’ Doc.
State funds used for a "religious" message ("This is where I pray.")? Maybe Councilman Allen could use their own "separation of church and state" technique against this.
That’s an excellent point, and one I make here often. It is THE fundamental problem in the black community. I won’t go down the road of whose fault that is...ahem PERSONAL responsibility...ahem....
I must be off form today, I don’t know why I didn’t think of that.
Then, a picture of hell, the man being burned alive in hellfires, with the caption "I am homosexual, and this is where I will spend eternity, after I die from AIDS."
That would be more to the point, I think.
Scouts Out! Cavalry Ho!
I am GAY
And this is where I SASHAY. “
OOOO, you got me with that one.
Add a nice graphic of one of the prancers at the Gay Parade, complete with feather boa.
That would go over like a lead balloon.
I think the worst part of all this, is that it is an attempt to make forays and inroads into the one community which still holds to the old view of homosexuality. If these billboards were saying, “I am disabled, and this is where I play”, or “I say No to drugs, and this is where I pray”, that would just be a typical do-gooders campaign. This, however, is an attempt to make these folks “progressive up” on an issue which is foreign to them.
Having a man on the down low has had a lot of women contract aids because they didn’t know this about their husbands. This is a problem in the black community. What would really help would be some famous black men on the down low coming forward. Can you think of any very well known national figure who is pretending to be fully straight but is sexually very gay, with many encounters with men, who could explain to the black community about his shameful double life?
Whoa! Gold Star for the Red Devil!!
Fags must recruit because they cannot reproduce.
Homophobia does not cause gay men to get AIDS, it’s their lifestyle which you are promoting.
“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.”
From the article:
“gay black men make up every segment of society and are here to stay”
WTF???? I have to disagree with this. I cannot believe that taxpayer dollars are being used to promote this idea that “gay black men” are just your normal people.
“They be keepin’ it on the DL bro . . . “
Just thinking about NY state spending over $50,000 for such a project.
How pathetic, how very New York.
>Lev. 18:22, You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.<
Is there anyone who does not understand this?
Where is the cutesy little poem showing us where they drink beer?
I know who you’re suggesting, but my prediction is that Kanye West will be the one who eventually comes clean.
Lots of gays who attend “church” don’t understand it. Their response is that it was oldschool law and doesn’t apply today.
They cite that we no longer have animal sacrifices as an example.
They are clueless and highly selective about God’s word.
I’ve been called a “hatemonger” for mentioning it.
I tell them, blame God, I didn’t write it...
How do you promote "the health and welfare" of people who are knocking 30 years off their life expectancy?
Shouldn't they be telling them to quit having sex and start smoking cigarettes? It would add 10 years to their life expectancy.
“This is where I stay”. These people don’t “live” anywhere...they are more like wild animals and “stays” somewhere.