News: Why There’s a “No Gays Allowed” Billboard in Times Square

Amidst a sea of huge billboards in New York City’s Times Square, a particular sign is gaining people’s attention both online and offline, not so much because of its size but rather because of what it says: NO GAYS ALLOWED. 

The message would change to “no lesbians allowed, no bisexuals allowed, no trans allowed.” Under it are the words that read: “STOP Alliance Defending Freedom. Learn More at”

The billboard, owned by an LGBTQ activist group called Citizens for Transparency, was reportedly put up with the intention to “shock and to call attention to the heinous anti-LGBTQ mission of the group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).” 

But who is ADF and what is their “agenda?”

According to reports, ADF is a legal group “which has been labeled an anti-LGBTQ ‘hate group’ by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).” SPLC is “an American nonprofit legal advocacy organization specializing in civil rights and public interest litigation” who is “dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society.”

Allegedly, ADF has “fought for years to undermine lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer rights, often behind the scenes” and is: 

  • trying to legalize discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender people.” 
  • supporters of policies banning transgender kids from their gender bathroom
  • opposes anti-bullying policies 
  • opposes inclusive curriculums
  • against adoption and foster care by LGBT people
  • supports requiring surgery or sterilization of transgender individuals
  • opposes marriage equality
  • opposes LGBT-inclusive hate crimes protections 
  • represented a Colorado baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple among many others. The list, which is quite long, can be read in full here.

Citizens for Transparency Spokesman Caleb Cade told NBC News, “We want to remind people that there are still really insidious forces at work against our community.” Adding, “ADF has been leading that war for a long time, with tens of millions of dollars to do it.”

For their part, ADF Senior Counsel Jeremy Tedesco called the sign preposterous in an interview. Tedesco explained that when they win cases, they win it for everybody and that they support the rights of everybody; that they would represent a gay group if their first amendment rights were being violated. Tedesco said they have won, among many others, cases protecting students’ free speech rights on campus, defended churches all the time against discriminatory policies that exclude them from benefits and programs simply because they’re religious churches, religious institutions. ADF’s work—according to Tedesco—is broad in scope, that they do a lot of great work, and that they protect everybody’s freedom. Watch the interview below: 

On the other hand, netizens who weighed in on the issue were not happy with the billboard but for different reasons:

The billboard will remain visible until February but what do you think guys? Should Citizens for Transparency’s “No Gays Allowed” billboard stay or should it be taken down? Sound off in the comments section below!

There are 8 comments

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  1. Hunter0500

    “More at”

    The billboard, owned by an LGBTQ activist group..” should remain. It fosters acceptance. It opens dialog. Anyone demanding it be taken down is short-sighted, ignorant, a member of the class of people who exist to be offended without thinking before they speak … without considering the big picture.

  2. Guido in NJ

    Stupid move…
    It only reaffirms to the assholes out there that Gays, Lesbians, Transgender folks, are NOT accepted, however they intended it, this was NOT a smart move.

  3. Glenn

    I have no issues with the billboard. Yes, it has “shock value” and that’s the point. It also clearly states “Learn more at” People need to stop just reading “headlines” and educate themselves on an issue. I would hope a young person, or any person that is shocked by the billboard, or anything else would finish reading it and find out what the message is about. We need to stop basing our opinions on a headline, find out what the argument is, then decide if we agree with it or not.

  4. ray jackson

    Gays are intolerant of heterosexuals. One thing they need to understand is, that is their parents
    where gay they will not be here. It breaks down to all they are asking for is their space. They
    world is not gay. Stop trying to force us into submission. We are happy and satisfied.

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