Love Temple TX: Nonprofit raises funds to fight hateful speech, send a positive message
Nonprofit decided to act after local newspaper ran full page advertisement condemning LGBTQ community and its supporters
TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) - A Temple group is choosing to fight hateful speech aimed towards its community with a simple phrase: you are loved.
The newly founded non-profit, Love Temple TX, acted when a local newspaper ran a full-page ad, “America’s LGBT pride vs. The bible,” condemning those who identify as LGBT and those who stand in solidarity with the community.
“My first reaction was just really sad, that we’re having the same stupid conversation that I felt as a teenager,” said Anna Kauppila Morris with Love Temple TX.
While on vacation, Morris checked her phone only to see the full-page ad that ran on July 29.
Immediately knowing something had to be done, Morris and various community members banded together, raising a little under $13,000 in one week for a billboard.
Compared to the full-page ad, the billboard only has three words: you are loved.
“There’s a very different message to here. That you are loved and that you are accepted. That there are businesses here that are forming that are fully supportive of all lifestyles and all backgrounds,” said Morris.
Shortly after coming together, the non-profit was born.
Love Temple TX strives to bring awareness to the struggles marginalized communities are facing while also providing support and resources to those communities.
“We all made a conscious decision that we were not okay with anyone feeling unincluded in this community,” said Love Temple TX President Jordan Valentin.
Valentin says growing up, she didn’t always feel welcome in certain settings causing her to leave her hometown.
Now, she’s hoping the non-profit can turn things around.
When asked if she knew how members of the community gained support she said, “before this happened, I would probably say I didn’t know. I grew up here and left as soon as I could.”
The ad in the local paper featured headings like “abominations,” “worst kind of pride,” and “fear god,” to name a few.
Since the ad ran, multiple people have written a letter to the editor expressing their concern for the ad’s content.
The ad’s original poster even wrote a letter two weeks after calling out those who wrote in and doubled down with more scripture.
Love Temple TX Secretary William Plaster says he’s grateful for the opportunity to spread inclusivity and love through the non-profits work.
While the nonprofit is still pretty new, you can keep up with them on Instagram @lovetempletx and if you want to see the billboard for yourself, it’s along I-35 in Temple near exit 303.
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