Utah road sign flashes ‘God Hates Gays’ near Brigham Young Univ.

By David Edwards
Thursday, August 9, 2012 14:14 EDT
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Utah road signs says "God Hates Gays"
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An electronic road sign near the Mormon church’s Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah shocked motorist on Wednesday with the message “God Hates Gays.”

A driver posted a video of the sign on YouTube on Thursday.

Provo Public Information Officer Helen Anderson told Raw Story that the signed belonged to a contractor for the Utah Department of Tranportation, not the city.

“We just happen to be the city that this sign was in, unfortunately,” Anderson said.

“I personally find it very offensive,” Anderson said in a comment posted to YouTube. “Despite every effort to prevent it, sometimes signs like this get hacked. The city has contacted the team working on this construction project and they are looking into it.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Transportation did not return calls by the time of publication.

According to the YouTube description, the sign was located on University Ave., which runs through Brigham Young University’s campus. The school’s website says it was “founded, supported, and guided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” a religion which forbids gay sex.

Earlier this year, the campus group Understanding Same-Gender Attraction (USGA) created a video to speak out about the difficulty of being gay or lesbian at the Mormon school.

Several of the 22 students in the video confessed that that they had thought about taking their own life. In fact, 74 percent of LGBT students at Brigham Young have contemplated suicide, and a remarkable 24 percent have actually tried to kill themselves.

A 2007 clarification to the BYU honor code first allowed students to admit that they were gay or lesbian. And in 2010, LGBT advocacy was first allowed on campus.

But straight students at the school continue to have more rights than LGBT students, who can’t kiss or express affection in public.

Update (4:30 p.m. ET): A spokesperson for the Utah Department of Transportation told Raw Story that the road sign was “reprogrammed” by someone after being left unsecured by a contractor. The contractor is now investigating more than 40 road signs on that project to ensure they have been secured.

“This is an unfortunate example of someone with a problem who doesn’t represent the minds and hearts of the residents of Provo,” Provo Mayor John Curtis said in a statement sent to Raw Story.

Watch this video, uploaded to YouTube on Aug. 9, 2012.

(h/t: Good As You)

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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