Billboard touting ex-Mormons website comes down

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — A billboard in eastern Idaho touting an ex-Mormons group has been taken down after the business that owns the land complained.

Barry South, president of Dome Technology Inc., also is an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He said his sons became concerned about the sign on Dome’s property after the Post Register newspaper ran a story two weeks ago.

The billboard along U.S. Highway 20 advertising came down more than a week before scheduled.

“It’s a form of religious discrimination,” Jeff Ricks, the Web site’s executive director, told the newspaper. “At the very least, it’s religious intolerance.”

Lamar Outdoor Advertising, based in Baton Rouge, La., owns the billboard space. Ricks said the agent for Lamar that he works with told him he had to remove the sign because South’s representatives said they didn’t like it.

Kent Marboe, the advertising company’s representative in eastern Idaho, on Friday told The Associated Press that the sign came down June 14. He declined to talk about why it came down.

Dome Technology makes insulated concrete domes for industrial and commercial use. In a statement to the newspaper, it said it would have the same concerns over any advertisement on its property concerning a religion.

“We believed that the display material on the billboard created an inappropriate association with our company in violation of our position of neutrality,” Dome Technology Executive Vice President Gary Peterson said.

Scott Butterfield, manager of Lamar’s Northwest region, told the newspaper his company has the right to take down a sign “if it doesn’t meet community standards.”

Ricks said another company in Utah refused to put up the sign until the Utah chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union backed him.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Saturday June 23, 2007.
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