Coming Out Day Billboard Vandalized

Posted by Bianca Phillips on Mon, Sep 28, 2009 at 9:06 AM

A billboard depicting a U.S. Marine that read "I'm gay and I protected your freedom" was ripped to shreds Friday night. The ad, located at Poplar Avenue and High Street downtown, was one of five billboards paid for by the Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center (MGLCC) in conjunction with National Coming Out Day.

Nothing remains of the MGLCCs original message
  • Nothing remains of the MGLCC's original message

The billboard, situated close to the ground, was likely an easy target for vandals. The MGLCC has asked the Memphis Police Department to open an investigation into the vandalism.

"We choose not to be stopped by fear. Instead, our community unites in solidarity and with the belief that we too deserve equality," said MGLCC director Will Batts in a statement released on Saturday. "Although we are saddened by yesterday’s hateful expression of intolerance, we are proud of the local Memphian that chose to be the face on the billboard."

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That Memphian — Tim Smith — was ejected from the Marines under the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy 20 days before he was set to deploy to Iraq.

The community center is planning a rally for this coming weekend to protest the billboard's destruction. Check Memphis Gaydar later in the week for details.

Four other Coming Out Day billboards, located across the city, remain intact. For more on the MGLCC's billboard campaign, read the Memphis Flyer story.

Comments (52)

Showing 1-25 of 52

I am a proud service member who has served in both Afghanistan and Iraq. I am insulted in the worst way by this billboard. Our great patriots, who have gone before us and sacrificed their lives would be turning in their graves at the sight of this. Who cares about this guys' sexuality?? As americans, we have the right to make our own lifestyle decisions. However, To advertise your sexuality in a uniform that Marines are buried in does the US military, Marine Corps, and all the men and women who give their lives for our country an injustice. It does not give us honor nor does it give us the proper respect and courtesy we deserve for all the sacrifice we encounter both at home and abroad.

Insulted Veteran

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Posted by tgwingman on 09/28/2009 at 1:49 PM

I am surely in the minority but I am a former Marine who did not have a problem at all with this billboard. Sadly, I am not surprised at all that a bunch of hateful jackasses destroyed it.

David Lindsey
Kilo Company 3/23
1993-1999

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Posted by delindsey on 09/28/2009 at 2:07 PM

@ tqwingman

I do agree that a persons sexuality is of no matter as long as they can perform the job. But isn't that billboard one of the basic rights that we entered the service to defend? I do not see it as a dishonor or an insult. Destroying it is much more of an insult.

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Posted by mad_merc on 09/28/2009 at 2:15 PM

"Who cares about this guys' sexuality?? "


apparently those responsible for instituting DADT.

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Posted by wvfii on 09/28/2009 at 2:27 PM

@ tqwingman

blah blah blah


Uninsulted Veteran

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Posted by 38103 on 09/28/2009 at 3:33 PM

So, twingman, you served in our nation's military in order to earn the right not to be insulted?

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Posted by Packrat on 09/28/2009 at 4:14 PM

Insulted Veteren, go back to the stone age, this is 2009, and we are evolving and moving forward without you. Women and African Americans have earned the right to serve openly and proudly in the military, and gay men and women will do so as well. We'll stop making an issue of sexuality when we stop violating the Constitution and grant Gays and Lesbians the same rights as straight people. As for the cowards who tore down the billboard, Peter Gabriel once said "You can blow out a candle, but you can't blow out a fire..."

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Posted by Christopher on 09/28/2009 at 4:53 PM

First of all, the Marine did not truly protect America’s freedom in the last 50 years or more. The US Constitution only allows war that is declared and is under the ‘common defense’. The Constitution is not subordinate to UN policy, or any other entangled alliance that subverts the law of our land. The unconstitutional stationing of our troops during peace-time in over 150 + countries may be the reason for all of these attacks on our soil over the last century. Muslims consider their land ‘holy’ and for us to have our military there during peace-time is a violation of their worldview and ideology. Our indirect stealing of their oil does not help matters any. As Congressman Ron Paul said, ‘we wouldn’t want other nations stationed in our cities across America during peace-time. Getting to the point of the billboard; sexual activity has nothing to do with military activity. This is a major category fallacy. There is also much question begging as to what moral law to use determining whether hatred toward that lifestyle is good or bad. If there is no ultimate, universal, and moral law-giver, then anyone’s moral view is just as valid as the next. There can be no true response as to the destruction of the message of the bill-board; only arbitrary and subjective desires. If the LGBT community objects upon sexual grounds, then they have no sound standing. If they object on the grounds of the destruction of property; namely, the sign itself, then they should object on property rights violation. I wonder how the LGBT community would respond to a vandalized sign by a Marine that professed bestiality and serving the country?

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Posted by CHG on 09/28/2009 at 4:58 PM

so you're in favor of selective destruction of private property? or is that some kind of category fallacy, lol...I'd say they can legitimately object on property destruction grounds AS WELL AS the obvious intent of the cowardly vandal to silence a point of view. No matter, the destruction of that billboard will only bring more attention to the cause of freedom, justice and equality for all Americans. Chg, even for you, that post was all over the place. I wonder how you would respond if a billboard erected by Bellevue baptist Church professing jesus as the son of God was vandalized.... of course, someone who believes in received knowledge would think THAT was wrong, correct? Or am I incorrect in that assumption? Is it equally wrong to vandalize this gay marine billboard and a billboard promoting Christianity? Or are they both merely wrong only on destruction of property grounds? BTW, you cannot prove YOUR received knowledge is any more true than someone else's received knowledge. No matter h o w h a r d y o u t r y t o d e l u d e y o u r s e l f.

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Posted by Packrat on 09/28/2009 at 5:22 PM

"I wonder how the LGBT community would respond to a vandalized sign by a Marine that professed bestiality and serving the country?"

classy.

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Posted by wvfii on 09/28/2009 at 5:48 PM

And CHG continues to serve up pretzel logic with his hate flavored Kool-Aid.

BTW, are you advocating that bestiality be made legal?

Because homosexuality certainly is.

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Posted by Powergamz on 09/28/2009 at 6:46 PM

@Twingman:

Some of those Marines who were buried in that uniform were gay... something to reflect upon.

And if it so offends you to see people use their uniform to announce their sexuality, I take it you turned down every liberty call the entire time you were in?

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Posted by Powergamz on 09/28/2009 at 6:49 PM

"Everyone knows that gays have served honorably in the military since at least the time of Julius Caesar."

"You don't have to be straight to be in the military; you just have to be able to shoot straight."

-Barry Goldwater

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Posted by wvfii on 09/28/2009 at 7:50 PM

@twingman you've never served anywhere; you're a liar.

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Posted by Allan on 09/28/2009 at 7:55 PM

Packrat,

You didn't understand my response. I am against destruction of property, which is theft. Why is it wrong to voice free-speech against a point of view? You are attempting to 'silence' their point of view against that lifestyle! Given your viewpoint, we should allow all points of view, that is; hatred of all races, acceptance of theft, murder, rape, slander, libel, etc. According to you, voicing any opposition is an attempt at a 'silencing' a point of view. What if the Marine was a child molester or has sex with animals? Again, given your view, we should not attempt to silence any view. Your topic regarding apologetics and epistemology or knowledge of truth is a red-herring and a topic for another issue. If you wish to discuss worldviews, epistemology, or apologetics, you can email me.

Powergamz,

quote: “And CHG continues to serve up pretzel logic with his hate flavored Kool-Aid.” Given an atheistic worldview, upon what absolute morals do you see 'hatred' as wrong? I never advocated hatred, but you are presupposing I did. If there is no absolute moral law-giver, then hatred is no different than any other bodily emotion. If we are nothing more than, 'matter-in-motion', as atheism/evolutionists would say, then hatred is no different than indigestion or some other bodily movement.

Quote: “BTW, are you advocating that bestiality be made legal?” Not me, but again, what morals does your worldview have that make it wrong? Without an absolute in ethics, there is nothing but subjective opinion left. Legality does not equate to truth or 'good' necessarily.


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Posted by CHG on 09/29/2009 at 7:21 AM

"BTW, are you advocating that bestiality be made legal?” Not me, but again, what morals does your worldview have that make it wrong? Without an absolute in ethics, there is nothing but subjective opinion left."

when the right links homosexuality to pedophilia and bestiality (and they do. often.) they are completely ignoring the fact that animals and children are victims in these scenarios. two consenting adult gay men (or women) are not. they are tax-paying, law-abiding American citizens who happen to be gay. no degayification camp run by the spiritual progeny of Rousas John Rushdoony is going to change that.

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Posted by wvfii on 09/29/2009 at 8:19 AM

More pretzel logic. Destroying a billboard isn't free speech. I am not attempting to silence anyone's viewpoint; I merely condemn and make sport of certain viewpoints I disagree with. The one who is attempting to silence a viewpoint is the moron who destroyed the billboard. Given your viewpoint, we should have a body of fundamentlist ministers who decide what viewpoints are valid, no? Since they are the ones who believe in the One true Bronze-Age God who smiteth their naughty foes and buggerers.....again, child molestation is illegal, and your feeble attempts to equate harming children with two consenting adults being gay and living their lives together only further weakens your already limp-assed argument....your lack of logic is bordering on ludicrous at this point.

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Posted by Packrat on 09/29/2009 at 8:29 AM

when I listen to the crack-pot pundits and the internet nuts, I keep hearing about how it's not necessarily about the fact that people are gay; it's that the Left is trying to "indoctrinate" children, to enculturate a certain mindset. while I personally don't see a problem with teaching a sense of egalitarian respect for fellow human beings (which obviously shouldn't include include religious indoctrination. see Bill of Rights and the writings of the founding fathers about that), I can empathize with certain arguments. BUT, I would posit that those left of center wouldn't be so concerned with humanist "indoctrination" if those on the Right had not spent every epoch of American history ignoring or violently opposing the basic tenets of our founding documents. And yes, I do think gay marriage is something that should be (and will be) protected by the Constitution. Just ask Theodore Olson and David Boies.

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Posted by wvfii on 09/29/2009 at 9:05 AM

"First of all, the Marine did not truly protect America’s freedom in the last 50 years or more." This statement from CHG shows how ignorant he is. Our military, and the men and women who volunteer, protect us day and night 24/7. One need not be on a battlefield during a Constitutionally declared war. Their presence alone, and willingness to go when called, is usually enough. If you serve your life is on the line, whether you are in a trench, running around Hohenfels, simmering at NTC, or part of "leftist" peacekeeping duty in Rwanda. Hooah.

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Posted by 38103 on 09/29/2009 at 10:25 AM

right you are, zippy. That comment from CHG is very telling. Why do you hate our military Charles? traitor!

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Posted by Packrat on 09/29/2009 at 10:30 AM

wvfii,

I did not advocate that bestiality be made legal; you injected that out of context. Once again, you are begging the question of moral absolutes. By what standard does your ideology (ya’ like that better than worldview?) make it wrong for animals and children to be victims? Where did the ethical law of ‘consent’ become a norm for behavior? So if one pays taxes and obeys laws they can do whatever they want to that isn’t codified in a local or national law-book? Sounds a bit arbitrary to me. Since you appeal to man-made law and tax-paying as the ultimate standard for ethical behavior, that means that whatever is right today may be wrong tomorrow by popular vote of law. Once again; lawfulness does not equate to good or bad in an absolute sense.

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Posted by CHG on 09/29/2009 at 4:27 PM

So let me get this straight. Man made law is inferior to man made god law? Man made law isn't absolute. But law made by a man made creator is absolute. So for something to be absolute, it has to come from a god created by man? Maybe I am missing something here. Let me try this again. Absolutes can only come from a book written by men to justify their own existence? Or absolutes can only come from a god created by man, and won a popularity contest between the other man created gods? Or is it that absolutes cannot have any foundation in reality to be absolutes?

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Posted by 38103 on 09/29/2009 at 4:49 PM

Packrat,

Legality does not equate to truth or soundness and validity. What is legal today, may be illegal tomorrow. Your views are merely subjective in nature. The issue isn't one of 'logic', it is of irrational ideology on your part. The tenets of your worldview are incoherent and do not comport with one another.

38103,

quote: “This statement from CHG shows how ignorant he is. Our military, and the men and women who volunteer, protect us day and night 24/7. One need not be on a battlefield during a Constitutionally declared war.”

Attacking the person (ad hominem)does not establish truth. This statement shows your confusion of international vs. local protection and jurisdictions. There is no Constitutional provision for our military to be stationed internationally at this point in time. War has not be declared upon another nation by Congress. Temporary, Presidential War Powers are a violation of this Constitutional authority by Congress.

Packrat,

quote: “That comment from CHG is very telling. Why do you hate our military Charles? Traitor!”

Question-begging a la' mode. I love having a military when war has been declared.

38103,

“So let me get this straight. Man made law is inferior to man made god law?”

I've never heard of a 'man made god law'. Sorry.

“Man made law isn't absolute.”

Correct; man is a contingent and temporal entity, incapable of absolutes.

“ But law made by a man made creator is absolute.”

False. There is proof of a man made creator and if man is the source, then it fits the above definition.


“So for something to be absolute, it has to come from a god created by man? Maybe I am missing something here.”

You are missing the fact that you are using irrational logic. Contingency vs. a necessary being are two different things. Necessary preconditions exist for reality to be coherent in the areas of logic, ethics, and natural law.

“ Let me try this again. Absolutes can only come from a book written by men to justify their own existence? Or absolutes can only come from a god created by man, and won a popularity contest between the other man created gods? Or is it that absolutes cannot have any foundation in reality to be absolutes? “

Absolutes can only come from an absolute being. A cannot come from non-A. Apples do not come from Pear trees.

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Posted by CHG on 09/29/2009 at 5:26 PM

correction:

I made this quote: "False. There is proof of a man made creator and if man is the source, then it fits the above definition. "

I left out the word, 'no' in front of the word 'proof'. No big deal, but just a correction.

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Posted by CHG on 09/29/2009 at 5:28 PM

LOL!! CHG has finally chased his pretzel logic full circle.

Why do you come in here spewing falsehoods about the bible, and pretend to be a Christian in spite of all the times you've been exposed as violating Christian precepts?

For the same reason you carry water for Don Black and David Duke, and then pretend to not be a hater?
For the same reason you post falsehoods about the Constitution, and then pretend to not be contemptuous of it?

In any case *you* drew the equivalency between homosexuality and bestiality, but the reality (there's that word again) is that bestiality is illegal just like rape and pedophelia, because of lack of consent.
Homosexuality is not equivalent because it isn't illegal between two consenting adults, just like heterosexuality.

Apparently you wish for the equivalency you imagine, to become true in society, which puts you in the same camp with NAMBLA and those trying to legalze bestiality.

Perhaps you should put up a billboard.

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Posted by Powergamz on 09/29/2009 at 6:04 PM
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