Owner, advertiser defend anti-gay message on Gatesville sign, which has now been removed

Posted on 22 Jul 2009 at 10:32am

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I spoke this morning with a woman who said she is the owner of “The Sign” in Gatesville, Virginia Miller. Before finally hanging up on me, Miller essentially defended the message that’s appeared on the sign for the last three days, “GAY RIGHTS ARE NOT CIVIL RIGHTS.” The message reportedly was paid for by Oen Dollins of Gatesville, a former minister. Miller said Dollins didn’t mean to offend anyone, but merely wanted to point out that gay rights are not the same as African-American civil rights.

“He wanted to get the message to black people that it’s not fair that they’re the ones who suffered, they’re the ones who paid the price, and now everything they fought for is being hijacked,” Miller said.

Miller also claimed she’s received death threats since reports about the sign appeared on Instant Tea and on KCEN Channel 9 in Waco. She said Dollins paid $300 for the message to appear on the sign for three days, from Sunday through Tuesday, and it was taken down last night. Miller said her husband, Bo, carefully screens advertisements for “the Sign” and typically doesn’t allow anything negative. But Bo Miller told Channel 9 that he approved the message because he felt Dollins was making a valid argument. Dollins told KCEN: “It’s nothing to compare with the civil rights movement. No gays are having to ride on the back of the bus. No gays are being enslaved. No gays are being prosecuted [SIC] in any way.”

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