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Mitchell Gold

Mitchell Gold says he's "just a country boy trying to make good" with the Faith in America ad campaign he launched in January 2006. Through a series of newspaper ads and billboards in U.S. cities, the furniture magnate from North Carolina is reaching out to evangelical Christians in an effort to get gays and lesbians "off the sin list."

"People think that I'm doing this because I'm religious. I'm not at all religious," says Gold. "Because religion has been used to discriminate against LGBT rights, I have made it a point to learn how to communicate with religious people and to educate them."

In partnership with gay-focused organizations Metropolitan Community Churches and the National Black Justice Coalition, Gold decided to initiate funding for a media campaign designed to help fundamentalist Christians see gays and lesbians as real people. "It's really starting to have an impact," he says, noting a recent survey that shows increasing support for gay rights among conservative Christians. "What we found was that people are really curious about this subject. A lot of our advertising has changed to being open-letter ads. Now we are thinking about longer letters in direct mail."

Amen to that.

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