A skywriter left an apparently anti-lesbian message in the skies above Sydney, Australia, on Tuesday (26 January), sparking intense debate online about why the message was left in the first place.
People took to Reddit to interpret the meaning behind the message, which reads “Kids need dads”. Some Reddit users wondered if it was a disgruntled father who lost a custody battle. Others interpreted the message as being anti-lesbian in nature. One Reddit user joked the message could actually mean that more same-sex parents were needed.
They wrote: “Two dads are better than one, right? Is that what he’s saying?”
According to Australian LGBT+ news site the Star Observer, Rob Vance is the culprit behind the “kids need dads” message. Vance owns Skywriting Australia, supposedly the nation’s only skywriting business. In recent years, Vance has come under public scrutiny after he left behind a series of controversial messages.
— Robin Mellon (@BetterSydney) January 26, 2021
— Hektik Hektor (@HektikHektor) January 21, 2017
Vance left two messages – “Save unborn” and “Choose life” – as New South Wales’ debated over legalising abortion in 2019.
He also plugged for then-president Donald Trump‘s re-election campaign last year when he wrote “Vote Trump” in the skies.
However, Vance said he has been commissioned to create sky signs for individuals, groups and corporations since the 1980s. In a recent interview with The Guardian, he said he had the final say in which messages would and wouldn’t be accepted.
Vance said: “[People] always want to do a c**k and balls. It’s just not on.”
He does accept commissions from non-conservative messages. In June 2019, he wrote “#BLM” in the sky as Black Lives Matter protests happened in Sydney.
But he previously rejected a request to write “Vote yaaass” during the marriage equality debate in 2017. He explained to The Guardian this was the result of backlash from the earlier “Vote no” sign.
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