The same Christian couple who opted to close their wedding business rather than cater to host gay couples have conjured up their next venture: installing 1,000 anti-gay billboards on sites across the US.
It was back in 2013 when Mennonite couple Dick and Betty Odgaard were sued by Lee Stafford and his fiance Jared for refusing to host their wedding at Gortz Haus, the Odgaard's Iowa converted church venue which features a gallery, flower shop and bistro.
Following the lawsuit, the Odgaards created a tax-exempt charity called God’s Original Design Ministry, with a mission to "restore the Biblical definition of marriage in our society".
And so they've started the first leg of their mission objective, with the first 14-foot by 48-foot sign unveiled last week near a highway some five miles south of Durant, Oklamhoma.
The billboard, which 'quotes' God pleading to keep marriage between a man and woman, was shared as a photo on the Ministry’s Facebook page, and has received strong backlash from commenters on the page, GayStarNews reports
“Rather than oppressing others and rallying against US laws - maybe you could use your money and time feeding hungry people, or building homes for people, or - being helpful in SOME way,” said David Gibbs.
“You people are pathetic bigots,” said Kathy Wiles.
“I'm fairly certain if God didn't approve of marriage equality he'd have the power to prevent same-sex couples from getting married... in 22 countries around the world”, said David Grossman.
The ministry has also designed a series of anti-gay fliers which call for supporters to print and place on cars in church parking lots.
The Odgaards’ announcement follows their recent appearance in US Senator Ted Cruz's campaign video, where they claimed the 2013 lawsuit “forced” them to close their wedding business.