In an effort to fight back against the divisive rhetoric of anti-LGBTQ hate groups like the Westboro Baptist Church, Family Research Council and Focus on the Family, Hornet — the world’s premier gay social network and app — has unveiled a brand-new billboard campaign that addresses those hate groups head-on. The first instance of the Hornet billboard campaign goes up today, June 8, in Washington, D.C.
Hornet’s focus on three of America’s “headquarters of hate” relied on the help of watchdog group the Southern Poverty Law Center. Following the billboard in Washington, D.C. — home of the Family Research Council — two more billboards will be raised in Topeka, Kansas, and Colorado Springs, Colorado, home bases of the Westboro Baptist Church and Focus on the Family, respectively.
“We are erecting these billboards across the country to draw attention to places from which hateful rhetoric and influence on anti-LGBTQ legislation stem. The billboards are a beacon of hope for the LGBTQ residents of these areas and a reminder to local leadership that we will not be silenced and we will not be erased,” notes Hornet President Sean Howell. “The 2016 elections created a divisive atmosphere in our country, and, by all accounts, hate crimes against minority groups have been on the rise. As a community, we will not be torn apart. We will continue to thrive and resist attempts by any groups to reverse the progress made over the last decades.”
Along with a short tagline tailored to each of the three cities’ hate groups, each billboard will feature a same-sex couple or set of friends who represent the more than 20 million international Hornet users who use the social network to find a safe space for connecting and congregating.
After catching wind of the impending billboard campaign, the Westboro Baptist Church — known for its infamous “God hates fags” signs and its picketing of funerals and LGBT events — has already offered a response. The hate group tweeted out on Wednesday, “Westboro’s ready for @HornetApp’s sin-enabling billboard! We got 1 of our own + a song!”
— Westboro Baptist (@WBCSaysRepent) June 8, 2017
The tweet references a song they produced titled “Billboards Talk,” a parody of Elvis Presley’s “Jailhouse Rock,” and the Westboro Baptist Church’s own billboard that proclaims “Homosexuality Is Sin.”
We’ve since taken the liberty of altering their billboard slightly to offer up a more … welcoming message.