Donald Trump and Ted Cruz in a passionate embrace? It’s happening — but only on a pro-LGBT billboard put up in Cleveland just in time for the Republican National Convention.
The billboard, sponsored by progressive group Planting Peace depicts the presumptive Republican presidential nominee embracing his former rival, with their lips about to meet. The accompanying text says, “Love trumps hate. End homophobia.”
Planting Peace hopes to send Republicans a message as they meet for their nominating convention, which opens Monday and runs through Thursday. “What Donald, Ted and the Republican platform either fail to realize, or realize and just don’t seem to care about, is that their words and actions toward our LGBT family — especially LGBT children —have meaning and impact,” says a Planting Peace press release. “LGBT children hear these messages telling them they are nothing but second-class citizens and are left feeling somehow broken or ‘less than.’”
Indeed, the party platform is telling LGBT people that. The draft of the platform, which will be voted on at the convention, recommends overturning the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision, supports the right of parents to subject their children to “ex-gay” therapy, and opposes the Department of Education’s call to allow transgender students access to facilities that comport with their gender identity. The Log Cabin Republicans, an organization for gay GOPers, has called it the “most anti-LGBT” platform in the party’s history. And the list of scheduled convention speakers includes such anti-LGBT types as Liberty University head Jerry Falwell Jr. and former presidential aspirants Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, and Cruz.
Planting Peace notes that young LGBT people often respond to destructive messages by considering suicide, and the group urges the party to change the platform immediately. “We are calling for action that brings full fundamental rights to the LGBT community, and a narrative that empowers LGBT people to live and love freely,” the press release continues.
Planting Peace has taken many pro-LGBT stands, often through billboards, in the past few years. The group, which also supports environmental, antipoverty, and other progressive causes, is headquartered in a rainbow-colored house across the street from the infamously homophobic Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan. Last year, for instance, it put up a billboard countering one that promoted “ex-gay” therapy (and used a stock photo of a model who happens to be gay) and another reminding Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis that the definition of marriage has expanded to include same-sex couples — who she resisted serving.
“Our message to our LGBT family remains consistent: You are loved, valued and beautiful,” the Planting Peace press release concludes. “There is nothing wrong with you. You are not alone; you have a community of support behind you, and we will continue to stand with you.”