Crowd marches against 'hateful' Highlands billboard - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Crowd marches against 'hateful' Highlands billboard

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The sign was paid for by the Louisville ministry Abba's Delight. The sign was paid for by the Louisville ministry Abba's Delight.
About 70 people attended the protest, with some calling for the sign to come down and others saying its backer had a right to free speech. About 70 people attended the protest, with some calling for the sign to come down and others saying its backer had a right to free speech.
Erin Brock Erin Brock
Zanne Koehne and Alan Canon Zanne Koehne and Alan Canon
Zanne Koehne Zanne Koehne

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A group marched down Bardstown Road on Friday to protest a billboard message telling gays and lesbians they had "options."

About 70 people attended the protest, with some calling for the sign to come down and others saying its backer had a right to free speech.

"Not everyone who is gay is happy. There are alternatives," proclaims the sign, paid for by the Louisville ministry Abba's Delight.

"That group honestly believes that, if you go to them, they will get the gay out of you," said Erin Brock, who is a lesbian and attended the march. "It's not just that it's offensive -- it's painful."

Someone has defaced the sign with the letters "WTF" spelled in graffiti. Others have made plans to destroy the sign, said Zanne Koehne, who organized Friday's march as a peaceful protest.

"What we can all come together on -- what we all believe -- is that the message is wrong," she said. "I want us all to come together and be happy."

Daniel Mingo, executive director at Abba's Delight, declined an on-camera interview about the billboard. The message is an attempt to reach out to the gay community through love, he said in an emailed statement.

"We know there is a segment of the gay-identified population who are not happy," Mingo said. "To us, the Christ-like expression of love is to bring to that segment's attention that there are alternatives."

The billboard will remain for about 90 days near the corner of Bardstown Road and Grinstead Drive, Mingo said.

Until it comes down, it serves as a reminder that society is still not accepting of gays, said Alan Canon, who participated in the march.

"While it stands, let it be a reminder to those of us who live and work near it that we have a lot to do," Canon said. "When you hear offensive language, object to it."

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