Utah Road Sign Spreads Anti-Gay Hate

Photo by David Warren, via the Herald-Extra
A Provo, Utah road sign alerted motorists of two oddly juxtaposing messages: “Follow Detour” and “God Hates Gays.”

Provo local Annie Frewin posted this video earlier today, noting in the description “Saw this on my way home from work tonight, on University Ave, Provo. East Bay. Had to double take it and flip around to record it:”

Utah’s Herald-Extra reports that the sign flashed throughout the night and was up until at least 5 a.m. this morning. The Huffington Post‘s Andres Jauregui began an investigation earlier today:

It was initially unclear from the information provided whether the sign appeared on a city road, or on the I-15 highway, so The Huffington Post contacted the Utah Department of Transportation, the City of Provo, the Provo Police Department and the Utah Highway Patrol for comment.

Employees of each bureau expressed shock upon hearing the news of the sign, in several cases saying it was the first they had heard of it. Eventually it was established that the sign was on the I-15 corridor.

Utah Department of Transportation spokeswoman Mindy Nelson told Gay Salt Lake that signs are maintained by contractors who have the messages approved by UDOT.

“The sign was most likely changed by one of the contractor’s employees who thought he or she was playing a prank. A very bad prank that is obviously unacceptable,” she said.

Inquires to UDOT regarding the contractor responsible for the sign, and the department’s response and investigation were not returned as of press time.

Nelson’s statement aside, it is often not very difficult to hack lit construction signs in order to change their messages, so a hateful prankster outside of the UDOT may be the culprit rather than it being an inside job. Just theoretically, readers: would you be happy if a more constructive prankster perhaps hacked some more humane and affirming messages to appear on Provo-area construction billboards? If so, what would you want the sign to read? Not to give any tech-savvy Provo-area constructive pranksters any ideas, of course! *wink!*