Donald Trump Kisses Ted Cruz in New Billboard Planted Days Before Republican National Convention
"What Donald, Ted and the Republican platform either fail to realize, or realize and just don’t seem to care about, is that their words and actions toward our LGBT family — especially LGBT children — have meaning and impact," says Planting Peace president Aaron Jackson in reference to the billboard.
When conservatives flock to Cleveland next week for the Republican National Convention, many may be shocked by a new billboard posted on West 25th Street featuring the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump, poised to kiss onetime campaign foe Ted Cruz alongside this message: "Love Trumps Hate. End Homophobia."
The group behind the campaign is Planting Peace, a global nonprofit founded "for the purpose of spreading peace in a hurting world," focused on a diverse roster of issues including humanitarian aid, environmental initiatives, LGBTQ advocacy and rainforests preservation. Its headquarters are listed as the Equality House, a rainbow-colored home in Topeka, Kansas, located directly across from the Westboro Baptist Church.
A rep for Planting Peace tells The Hollywood Reporter that the billboard will remain up for one month at a cost of $3,700.
The organization posted a lengthy blog post Thursday, which according to a rep is attributed to Planting Peace president Aaron Jackson, that targets Trump, Cruz and the entire Republican party for its exclusive rhetoric, challenging leaders to change the party platform. "Never again shall a negative, hateful message be uttered in the name of 'religious freedom,' " the post reads. "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."
Cruz is on the roster of speakers at the RNC, scheduled to kick off on Monday and continue through July 21, with Cruz lined up for night three and Trump to close the event on night four.
Planting Peace's full blog post is below:
What Donald, Ted and the Republican platform either fail to realize, or realize and just don’t seem to care about, is that their words and actions toward our LGBT family — especially LGBT children — have meaning and impact. LGBT children hear these messages telling them they are nothing but second class citizens and are left feeling somehow broken or “less than.”
We challenge the GOP to think about how many times their children could hear messages like these and not be impacted or question their value and worth? These messages sink our young people into a spiral of depression and directly correlate to queer youth attempting or actually committing suicide. The blood of these children is on the hands of the anti-LGBT platform of the republican party. This is not theory. This is not a dramatization. These are facts. For example, when HB2 passed, the Trans lifeline, a suicide prevention hotline for the transgender community, saw their suicide hotline calls increase 100 percent for transgender children.
When children are dying because of negative messages, it’s time to change the message.
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.
Our message to our LGBT family remains consistent: You are loved, valued and beautiful. There is nothing wrong with you. You are not alone; you have a community of support behind you, and we will continue to stand with you.