Bil Browning

A Tale of Two Ads

Filed By Bil Browning | June 01, 2006 4:44 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality

Two ads have been featured in the Indianapolis Star lately.

One ad (shown on the left) focuses on Senator Evan Bayh - accusing him of being anti-family because he plans to vote against the Federal Marriage Amendment. It appeared in the Wednesday Star (and the Evansville Press as well and I'm sure other Indiana papers too) and asks the sheeple to call Bayh's office and ask him to change his mind. The attack ad was placed nationwide by Focus on the Family and were aimed at undecided or opposed Senators. Interestingly enough, the run didn't include Indiana Senator Richard Lugar. The ad ran in:

Arkansas - Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor
Colorado - Sen. Ken Salazar
Florida - Sen. Bill Nelson
Indiana - Sen. Evan Bayh
Louisiana - Sen. Mary Landrieu
Maine - Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe
Montana - Sen. Max Baucus
Nebraska - Sen. Chuck Hagel
New Hampshire - Sen. John Sununu
North Dakota - Sens. Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad
Pennsylvania - Sen. Arlen Specter
Rhode Island - Sen. Lincoln Chafee
South Dakota - Sen. Tim Johnson

The opposing ad, however, is the one getting all the play. (See Annette's bilerico post, Sheila's bilerico post, Proceed At Your Own Risk's post (which includes a nice "how to donate" segment), the Indianapolis Star, WRTV-6 story, WISH-TV 8, Advance Indiana's post and more.)

The ad ran in Sunday's Star and three more large ads are planned. The ads were designed and are paid for by Faith In America and you can see the ads here. On top of the ad buys by Faith In America, Jesus Metropolitan Community Church has spent $55,000 on a media blitz here in Indianapolis that includes yard signs, bumper stickers, door hangers and t-shirts all asking "Would Jesus Discriminate?" One was put up by our home on Allisonville Road, but by the next day it had been taken down. You can check out JMCC's page on their attention getting signs here.

It's good to see the moderate and liberal Christians taking a stand against the bigotry and discrimination espoused by groups like Focus on the Family and their ilk. We'll have to see how the public responds.

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Just curious, was the sign removed because of the content or an ordinance? When we placed our signs, we tried to put them in an area where we saw other signs figuring that those were "acceptable" locations to place them.

The church sent an email to everyone saying that Fishers and Carmel had called and asked that the signs NOT be placed in their city limits, with Carmel even threatening legal action. I could find an ordinance online for Carmel, but not Fishers.

I'm wondering though, how does it work with all those subdivision signs on every corner? That is why I asked the question about content or ordinance.


There are ordinances in Indianapolis and probably the surrounding communities against these sorts of signs (and those for subdivisions and apts) but I fear that Carmel and Fishers are probably reacting more severly because of WHAT the signs say rather than the fact that we are violating their ordinance.

Just my take on it...

A few of the signs we posted in our area on the NE side have already disappeared.

I was trying not to be paranoid about it (thinking content vs law), but it is hard to do so when I know I have seen hundreds of subdivison signs on every street corner.

I also did not know until this all started that Indiana was one of the 10 worst places to be gay in the US. I mean, I knew it was bad, I just didn't know it was THAT bad.

The hundreds of subdivision (builders) signs referred to are regulated in Fishers, (e.g., permits required, only certain days, hours, feet from the road etc.) as are the political type signs JMCC is promoting.

From the town of Fishers website, the definition of a political sign and applicable section:

POLITICAL. A sign identifying and urging voter support for or opposition to a particular issue, political party or candidate for public office.

Political campaign signs announcing the candidates seeking public offices and other data pertinent thereto, up to a total area of eight square feet for each premise, are not required to have a permit. All signs larger than eight square feet will be required to obtain a permit. Signs of this nature shall not exceed either 32 square feet in size, nor eight feet in height. These signs shall be confined within private property and not within the street right-of-way. No signs shall be attached to utility poles, fences, trees, or any public or private sign standards.
(Ord. 071890C, passed 8-22-90; Am. Ord. 092392A, passed 11-4-92; Am. Ord. 011096D, passed 7-24-96; Am. Ord. 092004, passed 9-20-04)


Of course, that private property part requires a bit more handling up here in Fishers?

For those interested in placing a sign in their yard, where/when can we get a sign, is there a contractual obligation, what colors do they come in, and who pays whom? Thanks for the info.


If you want a sign for your yard, I suggest you surf over to the JMCC website and send them an email. :)

Thanks, Bil, I did check the JMCC site but couldn't find the needed info.

However, I did notice this morning that there's one in the highway ditch off our main drag; maybe I'll confiscate it for our yard before it disappears...not so sure about that color though.

Kay and all--

If you want a sign, please come by the church (Tuesday to Friday, noon to 7:00 pm, or Sundays around service times) and we'd be glad to give you one. We do ask that you post them only on your own property, or where you have the owner's permission.

And they only come in blue -- sorry!


Yesterday I e-mailed one of the Commissioners in Hamilton County and I received this reply:

While I can't speak for Carmel or Fishers, I do know that both have specific ordinances that prohibit signage in their road right of way area (as does Noblesville). They enforce these rules fairly strictly, especically political signs during elections. If you find individual homeowners who will put your signs in their yards out of the right of way, the city/town should leave them alone. Hope this helps.