Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Former U.S. marine, Tim Smith, speaks out on defaced billboard promoting gay acceptance

On Monday, I posted about the Memphis billboard featuring a gay soldier which was ripped to shreds. Tim Smith (pictured) was the marine in the billboard and he shares his thoughts on the vandalism below. Also, the Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center is holding a rally Sunday October 4th in response to the disrespect shown to their community and to Tim Smith.

KLTV reports:
Tim Smith received a good conduct medal during his four-year stint as a U.S. Marine. Now, he's at the center of an international billboard scandal. "It felt like somebody had violated the honor and commitment that we as military veterans feel about our service," Smith said in an interview Monday.

A shredded billboard along Poplar in Memphis used to show Smith saluting in full uniform with the quote, "I'm gay and I protected your freedom." Smith said he received an honorable discharge from the Marines after a local military minister outed him when he refused to go to a change ministry. Smith says the billboard gives a voice to diversity. "All my brothers and sisters in uniform who are part of the gay community who aren't able to speak for themselves," he said.