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Business owner wants homophobic billboard taken off building in Tasmania

Business owner wants homophobic billboard taken off building in Tasmania

The owner of a business who lease a building that a homophobic billboard has been erected on is fighting to have it taken down.

Darrell Keegan, owner of the TopShop tobacconist store in Wynyard, Tasmania told The Advocate newspaper that he was appalled that no one had consulted him before erecting the billboard.

‘I’m annoyed it hasn’t been taken down,’ Keegan told The Advocate, ‘It is offensive to some people.’

Keegan said he had signed a contract with Real Estate company LJ Hooker which stipulated that any billboard that caused damage to his business would be removed and he is now seeking to have it taken down.

‘It’s a slow process, though,’ Keegan said.

The billboard was erected by local sign maker Graham Hodge with the assistance of unknown church groups and shows a female sign and a plus sign and a male sign with an equals sign pointing to two interlocked rings with the slogan, ‘Designed by God.’

A similar sign erected by Hodge in April was removed by the local council because Hodge had not sought permission to erect it.

Local MP Paul O’Halloran of the Australian Greens Party took to Facebook to express his disapproval of the sign.

‘I am very unhappy at this billboard which just appeared in Wynyard,’ O’Halloran wrote.

‘This kind of intolerance has no place in modern day Tasmania. Those behind the ad need to think about the message it sends to young people who are grappling with their sexuality, and about the shame and damage it creates.’