The big sloppy kiss we've all been waiting for has finally been brought to fruition. Kinda. A big-ass billboard depicting the would-be tongue wrangling between presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump and alleged person Ted Cruz just went up in Cleveland, the home of next week's Republican National Convention.
The billboard is the work of Planting Peace, a non-profit organization aimed at "spreading peace" in an otherwise hate-filled world. "When children are dying because of negative messages, then it's time to change the message," Aaron Jackson, president of Planting Peace, told Complex Thursday. "Planting Peace calls for the immediate change in the Republican party platform with regard to our LGBT family and LGBT rights. Never again shall a negative, hateful message be uttered in the name of 'religious freedom.'"
For those somehow not in tune with the anti-LGBT rhetoric favored by many Republicans, this actual Cruz campaign ad is a good place to start:
Though Trump often refrains from outright declarations of hate toward LGBT voters during his rallies, he's still asserted his allegiance to groups known for their anti-LGBT rhetoric. Appearing at the Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference in June, Trump assured attendees that he was their go-to guy during this election. "I'll be here as often as I can, believe me, because I'm with you 100 percent," Trump said, according to C-SPAN.
For Jackson and Planting Peace, this perpetuation of bigotry is not only offensive, it's dangerous. "These messages sink these young people into a spiral of depression and directly correlate to queer youth attempting or actually committing suicide," Jackson told Complex via email. "The blood of these children is on the hands of the anti-LGBT platform of the Republican party. This is not theory. This is not a dramatization. These are facts."