A few ministers and local leaders are highly displeased with an ad campaign to fight homophobia in the black community. The billboards appear in the Schenectady-Albany, New York area and their simple message has caused an uproar. Daycare provider Pamela Spicer argues the posters overflow with “inappropriate sexual expression.”
Spicer’s day care clients range from ages 2 to 8; she’s convinced her charges will read the message, and force her to have conversations she would prefer not to.
“When I’m driving them to the Schenectady Public Library and they say, ‘What does gay mean?’ how do I answer that question,” Spicer asked her City Council.
Four people, with no kissing or a hand straying near any pleasure spot, is now sexual expression? Spicer needs to find another profession because she can’t connect words with their meaning.
Then there are a few men of God who want to protect their flocks from the gay stain.
“A thirteen-year-old looks at these billboards and says, ‘That must be it, I must be gay,’” said Rev. Alfred Thompkins of Calvary Tabernacle. “That goes directly against God’s purpose. As a resident of Schenectady, a pastor who works with young people, with families, frankly I’m really bothered by the message these send.”
For good measure Rev. Thompkins added that gays, thieves, and liars are one in the same.
The billboards are part of an HIV/AIDS prevention program sponsored by the New York State Department of Health and In Our Own Voices, a local advocacy organization.
It says much about the sexual immaturity of the community if these ads are a problem.