from staff reports
Competitor stands up for free speech.
Focus on the Family's Love Won Out Conference is in Omaha, Neb., this weekend, but one billboard company doesn’t want anyone to know about it.
Over the years, Love Won Out has traveled to 43 cities sharing the message that it's possible to break free from homosexuality. The event is regularly advertised on billboards. But when conference organizers contacted billboard company Waitt Outdoor for the Omaha conference, they were turned down. Melissa Fryrear, director of gender issues at Focus on the Family, said no explanation was offered.
"There is nothing objectionable about the billboard whatsoever. The message is, ‘I questioned homosexuality. Change is possible. Discover how,’ " she explained. " It's obviously a message of hope.”
Thankfully, Lamar Advertising Company stepped up and placed the billboards. Scott Butterfield, a spokesman for Lamar, said his company would only turn down an ad that was inaccurate, misleading or promoted illegal activity.
“We support the First Amendment rights of advertisers to promote legal products and services,” he said.
Private companies have the right to refuse services to anyone they choose, although they rarely do. Fryrear said the message of Love Won Out is something people who are unhappy with their homosexuality deserve to hear.
“I needed that in my own life, and, thankfully, I did hear that message," she said. "We want to get that message out to as many people as possible and offer the hope that, yes, homosexuality can be overcome.”