Ex-Gay Group Sues Over London’s Pro-Gay Bus Ads
A Christian ex-gay therapy group has filed a lawsuit against Transport for London over a series of pro-gay advertisements on the sides on the city's ubiquitous double-decker buses.
According the U.K. newspaper the Telegraph, the traditional Christian group Core Issues Trust filed a suit in the High Court to force the transportation group to remove advertisements by the gay group Stonewall that read "Some people are gay. Get over it!"
In April 2012, Core Issues Trust tried to get their own ads on the buses, advocating for gay conversion therapy. The Trust's slogan read, "Not Gay. Ex-Gay, Post-Gay and Proud. Get over it!"
The Committee of Advertising Practice approved the ad, but according to the Telegraph, London Mayor Boris Johnson instructed TfL to pull the campaign before it could run -- just days before the 2012 Mayoral Election.
"London is one of the most tolerant cities in the world and intolerant of intolerance. It is clearly offensive to suggest that being gay is an illness that someone recovers from and I am not prepared to have that suggestion driven around London on our buses," said Johnson at the time.
The Telegraph noted that Core Issues Trust had challenged the mayor's 2012 decision in court, and that Mrs. Justice Lang ruled that the mayor had not abused his position by banning the advertisements. She did question, however, Johnson's decision to allow the Stonewall ad campaign to continue, calling it "inconsistent and partial." The outcome of their appeal is due later this year. But for now, Core Issues Trust is lodging an urgent judicial review application seeking an injunction forcing TfL to take the new advertisements down.
"I feel that Stonewall and the Defendant are deliberately flouting the rulings of the court by renewing their advertisement campaign on buses which was clearly prohibited by the earlier judgment of Mrs Justice Lang," reads Core Issues Trust Founder Dr. Michael Davidson's petition. "Until such time when we have the judgment of the Court of Appeal, the Defendant should not have allowed Stonewall's advertisement to reappear on their buses."
For their part, Stonewall officials were chagrined that the so-called Christian group did not use their resources for more charitable ends.
"It does seem a tragedy that these people who make so much noise about being Christian don't spend a little more of their money on tackling polio or Third World poverty but a lot of money on slightly frivolous legal actions," Stonewall Chief Executive Ben Summerskill told the UK Telegraph.
And Stonewall's media manager Richard Lanes echoed this sentiment in Gay Star New, saying, "Many Christians will no doubt despair that the Core Issues Trust is yet again choosing to spend an estimated £30,000 on legal fees to defend their voodoo 'gay cure' practices. It will not be lost on many that a more Christian way to spend the money would be to help Sightsavers restore the sight of 7,500 children."