Why Is Facebook Running Ads Telling Us to Pray the Gay Away?

Why Is Facebook Running Ads Telling Us to Pray the Gay Away? (Video)

Queer Facebook users have been targeted by a sponsored video urging them to give up homosexuality and convert to Christianity. They’re not happy.

The Ad

In the ad, a man tells us how he grew up gay and had a pretty great life in Hollywood going to cool parties and dating guys. But he was still depressed, so he became a Christian. There’s nothing wrong with that, but unfortunately the man’s conversion somehow made him start believing that homosexuality was sinful and wrong.

He also started to believe that he wasn’t really gay, somehow (despite his history of dating men and being attracted to men since middle school). “Homosexuality was not who I was,” he says.

“Homosexuality is the deal-breaker for the LGBT community when it comes to Christianity,” he continues. Yes, not wanting to be completely eradicated (which is what right-wing Christians want to do to the queer community) is a bit of a deal-breaker. It’s remarkable, though, how he frames the LGBTQ community as intolerant for being unhappy with an ideology that considers them perverted freaks.

“It’s unloving to let people spend eternity apart from God,” he says. In other words, letting people be gay is wrong. Forcing them to suppress their sexual orientation is right.

The ad concludes, “Even if you have found your identity in worthless things, Jesus died, and resurrected for you.” Calling a loving same-sex relationship worthless is just awful.

The ad is run by Anchored North, a religious group that refers to itself as “next-generation evangelists” even though the guy in the video is at least in his 40s with gray-streaked hair. Anchored North also runs a video aimed at women called I Forgave My Rapist.

The Response

The video has been popping up in queer Facebook users’ feed as a sponsored post. Evidently, it was set specifically to target members of the LGBTQ community.

Unsurprisingly, the queer people targeted by this ad were not pleased. Check out some of the comments (names removed to respect their privacy):

One Facebook user who found the ad in his feed told us:

It made me angry that it was being targeted to LGBT people that they will only find happiness if they deny who they are and that’s the only way God could accept them. To send that kind of of message to a demographic that largely struggles with depression and suicide because of a society that doesn’t accept them is so harmful and not in any way compassionate.

Facebook has a history of strange and arbitrary censorship. They suspended a gay journalist for insulting Trump supporters after they inundated his colleague with homophobic slurs and threats. The social media platform also seems to refuse to promote LGBTQ ads, classifying them as obscene. And yet, it looks like they’ll allow conservative Christians to hurl a homophobic, harmful message at queer users.