All delegates, superdelegates, former college basketball coaches and garden variety political junkies attending next week's Republican National Convention will be greeted by an unusual and unavoidable sight: Sen. Ted Cruz going in for a passionate kiss with presumptive presidential nominee Donald J. Trump.
A non-profit advocacy group called Planting Peace placed the ad directly outside the entrance to the convention at Cleveland's Quicken Loans Arena as a "message to the GOP."
In a post on its homepage, the Topeka, Kan.-based organization writes, "What Donald, Ted and the Republican platform either fail to realize, or realize and just don't seem to care about, is that their words and actions toward our LGBT family—especially LGBT children—have meaning and impact."
Trump has largely avoided anti-LGBT rhetoric during his campaign. He famously said Caitlyn Jenner could use any bathroom she wanted at Trump Tower and claimed to be a better candidate for this demographic than Hillary Clinton. His rhetorical "Ask the gays" statement later inspired one of the campaign season's more amusing hashtags.
That said, party representatives have completed the final draft of what Log Cabin Republicans president Gregory T. Angelo called "the most anti-LGBT platform in the party's 162-year history" in a press release this week. The platform called for the repeal of laws legalizing same-sex marriage and endorsed the controversial "conversion therapy" practice, which looks to prevent children from growing up to be gay.
Planting Peace's note continues, "When children are dying because of negative messages, it's time to change the message," citing a 100 percent increase in calls to a transgender suicide hotline following the passage of North Carolina's infamous HB2 "Bathroom Bill."
Will the ad—which is a bit reminiscent of this Benetton campaign—lead to changes in the next GOP party platform? Hard to say. It will certainly get attention for Planting Peace, which ends its statement as such: "Our message to our LGBT family remains consistent: You are loved, valued and beautiful. There is nothing wrong with you. You are not alone; you have a community of support behind you, and we will continue to stand with you."