The organizers of an Oklahoma biathlon have sparked the ire of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community come after using a rainbow flag as a shooting target in a Facebook post promoting their event.
A photograph which appeared on the official page for Oklahoma Run ‘n’ Gun shows two gun-holding men flanking a rainbow flag, KFOR-TV first reported. A caption beneath the image, which has since been deleted, apparently read: “New high visibility targets on the 500 yard range.”
Organizers of the July 18 event, which combines running and shooting, told Freedom Oklahoma Executive Director Troy Stevenson that the post was intended as a joke rather than an offense to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, and that the colorful print had been selected because participants had complained about not being able to see the targets clearly.
Stevenson, who says he reached out to members of the group, nonetheless described the image as something that had been created by “people [who didn’t understand] social media or how bad their joke was” in an interview with the news station.
But that hasn’t stopped local advocates from condemning the image.
“Since it said, ‘Our new target,’ and it had guns…I took it as a threat,” one told the news station. Added another: “I think for many gay men and women in the state of Oklahoma, we feel as if we walk around as targets.”
Meanwhile, Oklahoma Run ‘n’ Gun officials poked fun at the backlash in a subsequent Facebook post.
“Alright. I’ll admit. We’re not the brightest crayons in the box,” they wrote.
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