Back in 2015, River Pointe Church bought a house in Houston, TX, across the street from an art gallery called the Hiram Butler Gallery. The two places being across the street from each other presented absolutely no problem except for one issue—parking. There are four parking spaces reserved for the art gallery that church members keep parking in, and according to Hiram Butler, no amount of talking over the years could fix the problem. So Butler came up with a very creative solution to try to keep church-goers from parking in the art gallery spaces: a sign reading “Parking Only For Gay Conversion Therapy.”
The sign was designed by artist Robert Rosenberg and fabricated by Melissa Eason, according to Artsy. It apparently appears alongside bumper stickers that read, “Follow me to the Blossom Gay Conversation Therapy Center where we pray the straight away.”
Speaking to ABC13 Eyewitness News, Butler said, “We tried reason. We tried anger. Neither of those things worked, so we’re trying humor and see if that will reach them. I’m as gay as a goose. It is not anti-gay. I have been a gay activist my entire adult life on the national life. It is satire.”
According to Butler, the sign went up on August 20, and so far, things haven’t changed, but he told ABC13 the sign will remain up for another two months. He said he’s not going to go as far as having the church members’ cars towed away because that’s “more aggressive” than he wants to be.
Butler explained, “They’ve had events. They’ve continued to occupy all the parking spaces on the south side of the street and all of the parking spaces on the north side of the street. We would not care if they park in our parking spaces one night a week. Three to five nights a week where you can’t park? It’s not acceptable.”
When asked for comment, the Senior Pastor at River Pointe Church, Patrick Kelley, released the following statement to ABC13 Eyewitness News:
“We are sorry to have inconvenienced Mr. Butler because we want to be the best neighbors possible. We host a Bible study across the street from Mr. Butler’s property, in our private residence, and will continue to be diligent to prevent our guests from using Mr. Butler’s four parking spaces.”
It’s a shame the sign’s not working, but that doesn’t detract from the impact. Pure brilliance.