Those who are headed into Cleveland for the Republican National Convention next week may want to brace themselves.
As reported by The Huffington Post, there’s a new billboard in town and it depicts Donald Trump and Ted Cruz going in for a smooch. Next to the image is a message reading, “Love Trumps Hate. End Homophobia.” The billboard was paid for by Planting Peace, a non-profit organization that advocates for LGBT rights through demonstrations like this and their Equality House, a rainbow painted house across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church.
This display of solidarity is in response to the Republican party’s attempts to oppress and further discriminate against marginalized groups, specifically the LGBT community, according to Planting Peace’s President, Aaron Jackson.
“What Donald, Ted, and the Republican party either fail to realize, or realize and just don’t seem to care about, is that their words and actions toward our LGBT familyÃ¢â‚¬-especially LGBT childrenÃ¢â‚¬-have meaning and impact,” Jackson told The Huffington Post. “LGBT children hear these messages telling them they are nothing but second class citizens and are left feeling broken or ‘less than.’”
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This year’s GOP platform is one of its most despotic yet, especially when it comes to LGBT rights—as reported by CNN, it is the GOP’s intention to oppose same-sex marriage rights, limit bathroom options for trans people, and protect businesses that refuse LGBT individuals service based on religious grounds. Not only that, but Trump's recently appointed VP pick, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, has an abhorrent record with the LGBT community. According to Mother Jones, he tried to prohibit same-sex marriage, voted against ending job descrimination based on sexual orientation, and voted against ending Don't Ask, Don't Tell.
Planting Peace’s primary concern about this legislation is its potential effect on future generations.
“When children are dying because of negative messages, then it’s time to change the message,” their website reads. “Planting Peace calls for the immediate change in the Republican party platform with regard to our LGBT family and LGBT rights. Never again shall a negative, hateful message be uttered in the name of ‘religious freedom.’ 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.”