A POSTER, part of a national billboard campaign to tackle homophobia, has been covered with red paint within days of being put up in Huntingdon. The billboard at the beginning of St Peter s Road, states: Some People are Gay. Get Over It! It is part of

ATTACKED: A poster against prejudice is defaced. Picture: MOHAMMED ORYZA ANANDA

A POSTER, part of a national billboard campaign to tackle homophobia, has been covered with red paint within days of being put up in Huntingdon.

The billboard at the beginning of St Peter's Road, states: "Some People are Gay. Get Over It!"

It is part of a national billboard campaign with the boards donated by Titan Outdoor Advertising.

Some 600 have gone up across England, Scotland and Wales. Another has been defaced in Blackburn, Lancashire.

Chris Gibbons, senior education officer at Stonewall, the gay equality organisation, said: "Sadly, the vandalism of a small number of the new Stonewall billboards is a reminder that homophobia still exists in our society and highlights the need to address the issue in schools and in communities.

"However, we are encouraged by the overwhelmingly positive response we have received to this campaign."

The campaign has been developed by Stonewall, whose founder-members include actor Sir Ian McKellen.

The design and campaign, launched on February 11, grew out of an education project to prevent prejudice against gay people in secondary schools.

The statement was developed in collaboration with 150 pupils and teachers and the project was launched by Dr Who and Torchwood star John Barrowman.

Stonewall was founded in 1989 as a reaction to the introduction of what became known as "Clause 28". The controversial Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988 was interpreted as prohibiting local authorities (and therefore schools) from distributing any material (plays, leaflets or books) that portrayed gay relationships as anything other than abnormal.

No successful prosecution was ever brought under the provision, but it led to self-censorship.

The Section was repealed two years later in Scotland and in November 2003 in the rest of the UK.