(Photo: CBS Outdoors)
A billboard posted by a Kentucky-based ministry that seeks to treat individuals with unwanted same-sex attraction has garnered controversy for its message.
Abba's Delight recently posted the billboard in Louisville, which features a sunny sky and the phrase "Not everyone who is gay is happy. You have options."
The billboard has garnered its share of criticism from LGBT groups and individuals who take issue with the organization's view on homosexuality.
Daniel Mingo, executive director of Abba's Delight, told The Christian Post that plans for the billboard went back to "the fall of 2013," when "the ministry board discussed the possibility and funding was secured."
Regarding the length of time it will be displayed in Louisville, Mingo also told CP that the billboard was "contracted for approximately 90 days."
Critics of the Abba's Delight billboard include Chris Hartman, the director of the Louisville-based pro-LGBT group the Fairness Campaign.
Hartman told CP that, while he believes Mingo has a right to advertise on the billboard, "we simply don't think Louisvillians will tolerate it."
"I think it's sad someone like Mr. Mingo is still trying to peddle his venomous snake oil in a community like Louisville, which is so proud of its diversity," said Hartman.
"According to the American Psychiatric Association, businesses like Mr. Mingo's induce increased anxiety, depression and self-destructive behavior amongst participants."
Hartman cited Exodus International, the large scale ex-gay ministry that eventually halted its American operations with its leader, issuing an apology to the LGBT community.
"All reputable sources conclude this type of harmful practice is neither safe nor effective for those involved. It's why Exodus International closed its doors last year and extended an apology to the LGBT community for the harm it had done," said Hartman.
"It's unfathomable why Mr. Mingo didn't follow suit, knowing those like him have harmed the very people they claim to want to help."
Regarding the criticism, Mingo provided CP with a statement released last week as people began to denounce the billboard and the organization behind it.
"As Christ followers, we wish to reach out in love in all situations as Christ did. When He would encounter people, He would convey love to them by showing another way to live beyond where they were," stated Mingo.
"At Abba's Delight, we know there is a segment of the gay-identified population who are not happy, otherwise the scores of thriving ministries like ours would have no participants. So, to us, the Christ-like expression of love is to bring to that segment's attention that there are alternatives. To deny someone that reality would be denying them that expression of love."
Abba's Delight was founded in April 2008 and identifies itself as a nonprofit Bible-based interdenominational Christian ministry for the "sexually broken."
"Though the ministry's main focus is toward those who initiate contact with us dealing with unwanted same gender attractions, we are equipped and experienced in working with heterosexual brokenness as well," explains the website.