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Times Square 'No Gays Allowed' Billboard Takes Aim at Anti-LGBTQ Group

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The billboard is intended to shock in 2018 and to call attention the anti-LGBTQ machinations of the far-right Christian group Alliance Defending Freedom. 

Just 50 years ago it wasn't abnormal to see signs that read "No Gays Allowed" hung in establishments -- like the one that hung in Barney's Beanery in the heart of gay West Hollywood. But now there's a sign looming above New York City's Times Square that flips between "no gays allowed, no lesbians allowed, no bisexuals allowed, no trans allowed." The sign, from a group of LGBTQ activists who launched the "No Gays Allowed" campaign, is intended to shock and to call attention to the heinous anti-LGBTQ mission of the group Alliance Defending Freedom, according to a release.

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"We want to remind people that there are still really insidious forces at work against our community," spokesperson for No Gays Allowed Caleb Cade said in the release. "ADF has been leading that war for a long time, with tens of millions of dollars to do it."

The Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal advocacy and training group, a hate group.

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The executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, Mara Keisling, called ADF "the most relentlessly extreme anti-trans law group."

In the 25 years since it was founded, ADF has supported the recriminalization of homosexuality in the U.S. and criminalization abroad; defended state-sanctioned sterilization of trans people abroad, linked homosexuality to pedophilia, and has claimed that the "homosexual agenda" will destroy Christianity and society, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. It represented a Colorado baker who refused to create a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, thereby violating state antidiscrimination law, in a case that went the the Supreme Court, where the baker won a qualified victory. It has now asked the high court to review a case in which it is advocating for a funeral home's right to fire an employee because she is transgender.

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The Times Square billboard, which includes the web address for the No Gays Allowed campaign, where ADF's many transgressions against LGBTQ people are broken down, is expected to remain there until February, according to NBC News.

"It's going to lead people to ask questions," former New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said of the campaign, according to the release. "And that's really important, to start a conversation, and to have that conversation be in response to this billboard, not the messaging of the ADF."

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