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.