";} /*B6D1B1EE*/ ?>
Fredericksburg Patch: Oops! Va. Ex-Gay Billboard Uses 'Proud' Gay Model Print


Created:  Monday, December 16, 2014 12:40PM


A billboard promoting ex-gay therapy along I-95 in Richmond is coming under scrutiny after the model featured in the ad told NBC12 he is "an out and proud gay man."

The ad, paid for by national nonprofit PFOX (Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays), depicts "Identical twins: One gay. One not." Below in large, red letters are the words "Nobody is born gay," which was based on the organization's interpretation of studies that refute the existence of a "gay gene."

Somewhat ironically, the model featured in the ad, Kyle Roux, told NBC12 he is not a twin and is " an out and proud gay man." Roux told NBC12 he believes "there is no place in today's world for an organization that is promoting this as being some kind of deviant or distasteful lifestyle."

More than 400 gathered at the Gay Community Center of Richmond Sunday to rally against the ad and show their support for the city's LGBT community, even suggesting erecting a counter billboard, NBC 12 reports.

In a response to the ad, Virginia Del. Patrick Hope (D - 47 - Arlington County) announced plans last week to introduce a bill to the 2015 General assembly to combat ex-gay therapy for minors, citing the treatment's assumption that being gay is a mental disorder.

"There's no on/off switch for sexual orientation, and putting this bill in is necessary to send that message," Hope told GAYRVA.

Lamar Advertising, which owns and manages the billboard, plans to keep the ad in place for its full contracted month until Jan. 4. "We believe it is in the best interest of our company and the communities we serve to accept advertising copy openly, subject only to requirements imposed by law and reasonable standards of fairness and decency," the agency states in its ad acceptance policy. The company further states it reserves the right to reject ads that are "actually inaccurate, misleading, fraudulent or deceptive."

California, New Jersey and the District of Columbia have banned ex-gay therapy for minors, citing the American Medical Association's objection to the practice for its ineffectiveness and the harm survivors of ex-gay therapy have experienced.