ST. PETERSBURG, Florida - Two of the four billboards St. Pete Pride had planned on buying to promote its upcoming festival were rejected by Clear Channel Outdoor, prompting the organization to cancel its pending contract with the outdoor advertising giant.See the full-sized images here.
One rejected billboard features a pair of men - shirtless, presumably at a beach - smiling for a photo with the caption "My family is fun." The other billboard that was rejected features a pair of women lying down at the beach together - presumably in the moment before a kiss - with the caption, "My family is free."
In an email to Clear Channel Outdoor, St. Pete Pride Executive Director Chris Rudisill wrote, "the images that were not selected do not contain anything that is sexual, immoral, illegal or otherwise offensive in nature."
"I'm almost certain that you have had billboards in the market which display men and women in both friendly and romantic ways," he continued. "I can't seem to understand where these images would be any different, except for the fact that they portray two men and two women, respectively."
St. Pete Pride is preparing to host its eighth annual festival to promote unity and a positive image of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) people around Tampa Bay.
In past years, Clear Channel has edited St. Pete Pride's submitted messages, but this year, the organization says it submitted much-less controversial billboards.
AARP Pride Information and Resources for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender People, Families and Allies - AARP