UPDATE Dec. 12: Kyle Roux, the model who reportedly appears in the ad, told NBC affiliate WWBT that he identifies as gay and is not an identical twin. Head here to read more.
A controversial "ex-gay" group has put up a billboard, sprawled with the words "Nobody is born gay," along a major interstate highway.
The billboard appeared recently beside I-95 in Richmond, Virginia, according to NBC affiliate WWBT. The sign depicts two males, one dressed in a suit and the other in a white T-shirt, and says: "Identical twins: One gay. One not. We believe twin research studies show nobody is born gay."
The group behind the billboard, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays, otherwise known as PFOX, is a national nonprofit that promotes ex-gay ideology, or the thinking that a person who identifies as gay can, through some kind of revelation, or in some cases "conversion therapy," renounce their homosexuality and claim they are no longer gay.
On its website, the group cites two studies purportedly denying the existence of a "gay gene," one of which was conducted in 2000 with participants who were twins. (LGBTQ Nation pointed out this interpretation of the 2000 study has been disputed by the study's main researcher.)
PFOX has publicly promoted ex-gay therapy in the past, despite the fact that the American Psychological Association condemned such practices as being "based on a view of homosexuality that has been rejected by all the major mental health professions."
Some who have seen the billboard on I-95 expressed their disgust to WWBT.
"We do not know why people are heterosexual," Bill Harrison with the Richmond Gay Community told the network. "Maybe when we figure that out, we can determine why some people are not. What we do know is that this type of therapy has caused many people to commit suicide."
A representative for PFOX was not immediately available for comment. LGBTQ Nation spoke with a rep for Lamar Advertising Company, which owns the billboard, and the company said PFOX's stance “is not a reflection of our company’s views.”
The billboard is set to run through Jan. 4.