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A city councilman in Schenectady, N.Y., has voiced his disapproval of an advertising campaign promoting gay pride among black men.
"This kind of billboard is putting the stamp of approval on a gay lifestyle," councilman Joseph Allen told the Albany Times Union. He also told the newspaper that he is not homophobic, but the ads send the wrong message to children.
The billboards and other ads depict black men on the basketball court or at church with the words "I Am Gay" featured boldly.
The city's attorney has told Allen that an effort to pull the ads could not succeed because the content is protected by the First Amendment. In addition to ads on buses and bus shelters, 18 billboards are posted throughout Schenectady, Albany, Rensselaer and Montgomery counties, according to the article.
Tandra R. LaGrone, executive director of Albany-based In Our Own Voices, which sponsored the campaign with the New York Department of Health, said the ads' purpose was to "address the stigma and homophobia of being a black gay man."