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Tenn. billboard sparks controversy

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Posted at 3:25 PM, Sep 17, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-17 17:21:13-04

PORTLAND, Tenn. — A towering billboard quoting a Leviticus passage from the Old Testament: “You shall not lie with a man as with a woman. It is an abomination,” is causing a bit of controversy in Tennessee.

Ronnie Monday, a Vietnam veteran, is the man behind the message.

WSMV reports that Monday commissioned the billboard and paid for it with donations from some friends. It has been up for four months in Portland, Tenn.

Anti-gay billboard disrupts community“When the president came out and indicated that he thought that gay marriage was OK, that was pretty much the last straw,” Monday said.

Chris Sanders is the executive director of the Tennessee Equality Project, a group that supports gay rights.

“It’s a free country. The man has the right to put it up there. We’re not questioning that; we’re questioning whether it’s the right message,” he said.

Sanders said he would have preferred the billboard send a more positive message, a message of tolerance.

“We hate to see anything in a community that encourages that kind of divisiveness, picking on people,” he said.

Love it or hate it, residents will have to get used to it. The contract on the billboard has been renewed for another six months.

“As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. And he says it’s wrong. And in my opinion, that’s what it is, it’s wrong,” Monday said.