Lady Gaga kicked off the much anticipated North American leg of her Born This Way Ball tour last week, but the Florida Family Association welcomed the superstar by paying a small airplane to fly an anti-gay ad above her Tacoma, Wash., stop on Monday.
The banner, which read "Not Born This Way," was flown over thousands of fans attending a pre-concert tailgate hosted by the pop superstar and LGBT advocate outside the Tacoma Dome, The News Tribune reports.
“It’s disheartening, but it’s their right,” said Brittney Blankenship, who had traveled from Idaho for the concert. “As much as we want to have this pride, they have the right to feel how they do too.”
The Florida Family Association is a largely anti-gay organization that has protested many events and programs they say promote a homosexual lifestyle, Think Progress notes.
Warning visitors that Lady Gaga was part of a "campaign to persuade kids to accept the homosexual lifestyle," the FFA said it cost $1,900 to fly the banner for four hours.
From the group's website:
Florida Family Association would like to fly more banners to counter Gaga’s hedonistic, Godless message at more concerts. You can click here to see the schedule Ladygaga.com... The goal is not to fly banners at every concert but at enough concerts to make a difference.
The overseas portion of Lady Gaga's tour this spring was protested by several religious groups, especially during stops in Asia, but the small group of physical protesters picketing at the Tacoma Dome on Monday were largely ignored, according to Seattle Weekly.
"Incredibly, instead of discomfort, there was utter refusal to listen at all," the paper's Jeva Lange reported. "Consensus was, if Lady Gaga was the path to purgatory, then we were all going to have a hell of a time."
The FFA seems to have a soft spot for airplane flyovers. In June, the group secured two planes in order to fly banners "warning" Disney World visitors of the amusement park's annual gay pride day.
Also on HuffPost:
2009 MuchMusic Awards acceptance speech
During one of her first big award show moments, Lady Gaga dedicated her win for International Video of the Year for the song "Poker Face" to "God and the gays," thereby proving her just how committed she was to publicly supporting the community.
Lady Gaga lands on the cover of Out magazine
Lady Gaga starred in a monster movie fantasy photo shoot in the September 2009 issue of <em>Out</em> magazine. In the interview, Gaga revealed "I very much want to inject gay culture into the mainstream... It's not an underground tool for me. It's my whole life. So I always sort of joke the real motivation is to just turn the world gay."
The "Telephone" video
Sure, Beyoncé turned up as Gaga's partner-in-crime in the "Telephone" video, but our favorite co-star is performance artist/personal trainer Heather Cassils, who played the pop star's prisonyard "girlfriend."
The "Alejandro" video
While some were outraged by Gaga's use of religious imagery in the video for "Alejandro," others were too busy lusting after the platoon of half-naked, high-heeled hunks cavorting with the singer to care.
Arriving at the 2010 MTV VMA's
Lady Gaga brought members of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (which was dedicated to doing away with the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy) with her on the red carpet. All four of her "dates" had been discharged from the U.S. Armed Services because they were openly gay.
DADT speech in Portland, Maine
In September of 2010 Lady Gaga drove 11 hours to Portland to speak at a rally in hopes of urging Maine Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe to support the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell." In her speech Gaga remarked, "Equality is the prime rib of America."
National Equality March Speech
In October 2010, Lady Gaga took the stage in front of the Capitol in Washington D.C. to demand equal rights for LGBT people. "Obama, I know you are listening," Gaga said before screaming, "Are you listening? We will continue to push you and your administration to bring your words of promise to a reality."
The "Born This Way" video
The video for the song that Elton John said would replace Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" as a gay anthem starts off with a shot of a unicorn and only gets more fantastical from there.
2011 Europride speech
Standing before St. Peter's Basilica, Lady Gaga spoke to the 2011 Europride crowd in Rome. The pop star asserted, "Let's exorcise our anger and baptize our pain and stand here strong. Today let us proclaim the defense of love." Unsurprisingly, the Vatican was none too pleased with Gaga's pro-LGBT message.
"You and I" live at the 2011 MTV VMA's
Lady Gaga got the night off and her male alter-ego, Jo Calderone, who the pop star says could be read as a trans man, showed up to belt out this country-tinged single.
The Born This Way Foundation
In February of 2012, Lady Gaga and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, launched the Born This Way Foundation at Harvard University. The foundation was founded in 2011 to "<a href="http://bornthiswayfoundation.org/pages/our-mission/" target="_hplink">foster a more accepting society</a>, where differences are embraced and individuality is celebrated. The foundation is dedicated to creating a safe community that helps connect young people with the skills and opportunities they need to build a braver, kinder world."