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Michigan man wants to respond to anti-gay billboard with his own and your help

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DEARBORN HEIGHTS, Michigan – A billboard near Detroit has one person ready to take action. Ferman Smith of Lapeer Michigan was driving through Detroit on May 6, when he came across a billboard which he thought was so offensive he made a U-turn and took a photograph of it.

The giant billboard stands above the road in Dearborn Heights, about 14 miles east of Detroit, and warns passersby that homosexuality is a behavior and is not a civil right.

The anti-equality marriage sign is a part of the ”RestrainTheJudges” ad campaigns funded through agencies such as “American Family Association of Pennsylvania,” “Faith 2 Action,” and “Campaign for Texas Families.”

Smith was so outraged at this advertisement that he quickly went home and began trying to figure out a way to fund his own billboard.

Smith has taken to Facebook in order to get his message heard, and inform the country that this, although an exercise in free speech, should not go unnoticed. And it seems as though it is working. Several media outlets have run pieces on the story and Smith emphasizes he is willing to do more.

In a recent update, Smith has said he will no longer be trying to partner with the “NOH8” campaign or “Human Rights Campaign,” due to their lack of response. Instead, he would like readers and supporters to visit his GoFundMe page, make a donation and offer suggestions on how he can counteract the message with one of his own signs on a similar scale.

Smith says not to blame the billboard company owner, he was conducting business fairly and would have been more helpful if Smith had come to him with his billboard first, and if you truly want to help, make a small or large donation to his GoFundMe campaign.

“This is where you come in,” he said via Facebook, “send me ideas for groups that you think would better serve this cause and that could really make an impact, some have said local groups while others have pressed for national organizations. I want to hear what YOU think! — [email protected]

Smith continues on to say that he would like to run his ad on the same billboard which will rotate within the “RestrainTheJudges” image. He is working on a design and will update everyone on its progress so that they can have input as well.

“The plan from the day we started this was to use the original company and place our ad’s to rotate alongside the “RestrainTheJudges” ad for a better effect,” he said. “Many of you have suggested that I should consider other companies and for that reason I am unable to provide a price aside from the digital billboards that these ads are currently placed on,” he said via Facebook.

Smith seems to be very proud to be a representative for this endeavor, but says he cannot do it alone. He encourages everyone to get involved and raise their voices in the name of tolerance and respect, “Today I just want everyone to know that even though I seem to be the spokesperson for this, it’s about EVERYONE! We are all humans and we ALL deserve to have a voice and to be treated with respect. This isn’t a regular GoFundMe, this is a GoFundMe shaped by all of you who are showing support through your hard earned money which is why I want all of you to know you have a voice in this!” He adds, “Together we’re going to make a positive impact!

Smith’s GoFundMe campaign has already raised over $7,000. If you would like to contribute click HERE.

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