(CNSNews.com) – Madrid authorities banned a bus carrying advertising promoting the biological determination of gender from appearing in public until its operators remove the “discriminatory ads,” Spain’s El País reported on Thursday.
Conservative Catholic group Hazte Oír (Make Yourself Heard) placed an ad on the bus that reads: “Boys have penises, girls have vulvas. Don’t let them fool you. If you’re born a man, you’re a man. If you’re a woman, you will continue to be so.”
Hazte Oír’s efforts appear to be in response to a pro-transgender advertising campaign by a Basque advocacy group with a transgender focus, Chrysallis Euskal Herria. It featured the slogan: “There are girls with penises and boys with vulvas,” and a drawing of nude children fitting that description.
An anonymous donor from New York funded the pro-transgender campaign with a 28,000 euro ($29,000) donation in exchange for assurances of anonymity, El País reported.
While the pro-transgender campaign did not encounter legal difficulties, city police impounded the Hazte Oír vehicle on Tuesday, acting on orders from Madrid City Hall.
Authorities determined that the ad’s message violated the “dignity” of people with “different” sexual orientations.
“There is a risk of perpetuating the perpetration of the [hate] crime, and of disturbing the peace, and of creating a sense of insecurity or fear among people, because of their identity or sexual orientation, specifically among minors who could be affected by the message,” a Madrid prosecutor wrote in his brief.
The regional government of Catalonia plans to take up the issue with state prosecutors, as they believe the advertisement campaign constitutes a possible hate crime against transgender people.
Freedom of expression “has a limit that is set by the law,” regional Madrid premier Cristina Cifuentes said.
Spanish politicians also expressed outrage, according to a report by Deutsche Welle.
Javier Maroto, a homosexual lawmaker for the conservative Popular Party, declared the project a “disgraceful campaign of hate.”
“Those from HazteOír may have penises and vaginas, but they clearly don’t have a brain, nor do they have a heart,” charged Pablo Iglesias, leader of the far-left Podemos party.
Hazte Oír, which has previously campaigned against abortion and in favor of traditional gender roles and heterosexuality, argued in a statement that the government “must exercise power democratically, not through political violence.”
“They should respect, just like we do, those who do not think the same as they do.”