‘Ex-gay’ London bus advert ban ruled lawful

42

Transport bosses were right to ban a Christian group’s bus advert
suggesting gay people could be helped to change their sexuality, it has
been ruled.

The High Court ruled Transport for London’s process in introducing the ban “was procedurally unfair”.

But it ruled TfL was acting lawfully in banning the Core
Issues Trust’s proposed advert because it would “cause grave offence” to
those who were gay.

The posters read: “Not Gay! Ex-Gay, Post-Gay and Proud. Get over it!”

They were a response to a bus poster campaign by gay rights
group Stonewall, which carried the message: “Some people are gay. Get
over it!”

The High Court’s ruling also said the Stonewall advertisement
was “highly offensive to fundamentalist Christians and other religious
groups whose religious belief is that homosexuality is contrary to God’s
teachings”.

A judge ruled Boris Johnson did not abuse his position as chairman of TfL when he imposed the ban.

The Core Issues Trust said the London mayor was “politically
driven” when he intervened to block the ad, which suggested gay people
could be helped to “move out of homosexuality”.

Mr Johnson condemned the “gay cure” advert as “offensive to
gays” and said it could lead to retaliation against the wider Christian
community.


continue to source article at bbc.co.uk

42 COMMENTS

  1. The High Court’s ruling also said the Stonewall advertisement was “highly offensive to fundamentalist Christians and other religious groups whose religious belief is that homosexuality is contrary to God’s teachings”.

    Doesn’t there need to be proof that homosexuality is contrary to God’s teachings?

    To my mind, it’s contrary to the bigoted beliefs, writings and ramblings of Bronze Age goat herders. Nothing to do with any god.

    • In reply to #1 by ArloNo:

      The High Court’s ruling also said the Stonewall advertisement was “highly offensive to fundamentalist Christians and other religious groups whose religious belief is that homosexuality is contrary to God’s teachings”.Doesn’t there need to be proof that homosexuality is contrary to God’s teachings?To my mind, it’s contrary to the bigoted beliefs, writings and ramblings of Bronze Age goat herders. Nothing to do with any god.

      Religious faith requires no proof.

  2. “Not Gay! Ex-Gay, Post-Gay and Proud. Get over it!”

    By tone a nasty pompous and intrinsically ignorant message to anyone let alone teh ghey.
    Seems rather hysterical and searching for an appropriate term, when the feeling is they are looking for ‘Heterosexual’ but were to embarrassed to say it.

    Compared with Stonewall’s advert that basically asserted the right to privacy and autonomy.

    “Some people are gay. Get over it!”

    Bollix’ is it “highly offensive to fundamentalist Christians and other religious groups whose religious belief is that homosexuality is contrary to God’s teachings” or even so what if it is?
    Maybe they should get a life and divert their grubby pedestrian little minds to other more appropriate areas like their complete lack of reality, that way they do not risk the pearl clutching !
    What folks do in privacy is absolutely none of their business.

    A direct message to bigots is never wasted!

  3. That statment that gay people who choose not to act on their same sex attraction should not be ostracised but helped is so disingenuous it is laughable. Was the advert really put up by non practicing gays? The advert even says post gay and ex gay,it doesn’t say non practicing gays. Are these guys Homer Simpsons legal advisers.

    Good old Boris, mad as a box of frogs, but youve got to love him.

  4. I think let the ads run, it makes it hard to deny the authors are homophic, it raises the debate and if our side is in fact the more rational in the long run it will hurt their position. The reason so many people can believe in the bible is because so few actually read it. Let’s have the debate out in the open.

  5. Here are 3 message types: (a) pro-gay; (b) anti-gay for religious reasons; (c) atheist, but not so much in an anti-theist way as in a, “don’t worry, be happy” one.

    The whole point of a society that’s tolerant enough to not publish ads due to their being offensive is that (a) is fine but (b) is not. No anti-gay ad would be OK, religious or not. The example of (b) we’re confronted with is also factually absurd, which is an even more important counterargument to it; there are no ex-gays.

    If (c) is offensive, what offensive thing did it say or imply? That there’s no god? That says nothing mean of any human; it’s just a metaphysical verdict. If an ad said zodiacs are uninfluential, would astrologers have the power to block that as “offensive”? It’s not even like (c) falls afoul of the burden of proof! One would have a lot to prove if one claimed astrology works – so much, in fact, not one genius has ever quite managed it.

  6. I am opposed to the advertising of any quack medicines, cures etc because of the potential damage they can do, sometimes leading to the death of the victim as in the HIV cure by prayed that has failed about six people over the last year in the UK.

    If this paper is correct, sexuality is determined in our genetic devlopment: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/668167

    I am no expert and would appreciate the opinion of someone who is but if there is truth in this paper, then homosexuality is as curable as my haemophilia and these nutters who promote cures should be stopped.

    • Your hemophilia has been cured? Cured???
      Huh? Hemophilia is a sex linked disease residing on the X chromosome. You have had your x-chromosomes fixed? In every cell of your body??

      I think you mean that your hemophilia has been controlled. If you go off the medicine, you still have hemophilia. However, if I am wrong, I’d love to know what the cure for hemophilia is. I would incorporate the cure into my lessons on immunology and genetics. Any info would be appreciated.

      In reply to #6 by Stephen Mynett:

      I am opposed to the advertising of any quack medicines, cures etc because of the potential damage they can do, sometimes leading to the death of the victim as in the HIV cure by prayed that has failed about six people over the last year in the UK.

      If this paper is correct, sexuality is determined in our genetic devlopment: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/668167

      I am no expert and would appreciate the opinion of someone who is but if there is truth in this paper, then homosexuality is as curable as my haemophilia and these nutters who promote cures should be stopped.

      • In reply to #22 by crookedshoes:

        Your hemophilia has been cured? Cured???

        I think you mean that your hemophilia has been controlled. If you go off the medicine, you still have hemophilia. However, if I am wrong, I’d love to know what the cure for hemophilia is. I would incorporate the cure into my lessons on immunology and genetics. Any info would be appreciated.

        I think you have missed the sarcasm in this. I was highlighting a paper that showed sexuality is decided by your genetic make-up, if that is the case it cannot be changed.

        I have lived with haemophilia long enough to know it is incurable. Read again: “. . . then homosexuality is as curable as my haemophilia and these nutters who promote cures should be stopped.”

        I do not think it is that ambiguous.

        • Oh, dammit, I have egg on my face. i completely missed the sarcasm and it was right there in front of my face. Sorry! When I reread it, it was so obvious. Sometimes I am smart; sometimes not so smart. This is a clear case of “not so smart”…. Apologies.

          In reply to #26 by Stephen Mynett:

          In reply to #22 by crookedshoes:

          Your hemophilia has been cured? Cured???

          I think you mean that your hemophilia has been controlled. If you go off the medicine, you still have hemophilia. However, if I am wrong, I’d love to know what the cure for hemophilia is. I would incorporate the cure into my lessons on immunology and genetics. Any info would be appreciated.

          I think you have missed the sarcasm in this. I was highlighting a paper that showed sexuality is decided by your genetic make-up, if that is the case it cannot be changed.

          I have lived with haemophilia long enough to know it is incurable. Read again: “. . . then homosexuality is as curable as my haemophilia and these nutters who promote cures should be stopped.”

          I do not think it is that ambiguous.

          • In reply to #28 by crookedshoes:

            Oh, dammit, I have egg on my face.

            No worries, we have all done it one way or another.

          • Stephen,
            Thanks.

            Jumped up,
            Great point. Well made, well stated.

            In reply to #30 by Stephen Mynett:

            In reply to #28 by crookedshoes:

            Oh, dammit, I have egg on my face.

            No worries, we have all done it one way or another.

  7. So based on a few lines in a scabby old book with an unknown author, christians are offended by an advert on peoples personal sexual activities. Are they also offended by adverts or websites that are against child slave trade and even rape since they are an accepted part of said book??

    Or as usual, am I just reading it “Out Of Context”

  8. People who want to waste their time suckering up to mythical gods can do so and I will not complain but they must learn to do their stuff in private (church, mosque, synagogue) and keep their snoopy dirty little minds out of the affairs of those of us who want to lead good, wholesome, worthwhile, rewarding lives. If they continue to pry, snoop and criticise the dogmatic will find out how difficult their lives can be. We will chisel away at their privileges, legal protection, tax breaks, access to our kids and all the other things that they take for granted now. So christians, islamists and all other religious need to shut up now, stop meddling in things that do not concern them. And they had better do it quick lest they reap the backlash that will come from those of us who do not need gods and who have tolerated discrimination and intolerance for so long. Take heed now before its too late.

  9. People can be cured of religion you know. Belief in a god is just a silly self indulgent weakness that with some counselling and a bit of effort on the part of the afflicted can be cured. Just think how much joy awaits the sexually repressed. Just think of how much joy awaits those who wake up to the fact that the universe was not made by a god that they have to simultaneously love and fear. Shacked constipated minds can be set free. All they have to do is jettison their imaginary god and start living before its time to die – for ever.

  10. A ban which is offensive to bigots spouting pseudo-science about others! Let them BE offended!

    The posters should read: “Not bigot! Ex-bigot, Post-bigot and Proud. Get over it and learn something that is not ignorance spouted by preachers!”

  11. Surely the point about Core Issues Trust’s advert is that it is UNTRUE. Homosexuality is not a disease and cannot be cured.

    The fact that something offends someone is irrelevant. Art, literature music and philosophy should offend people – that is the way that prejudice, entrenched opinion and illegitimate power/oppression are defeated. It is the whole point of freedom of expression.

    On the other hand, hate expression should be censored, but that should make people very uneasy, as it is the thin end of a very obvious wedge. Society and the law must exercise this right of censorship with extreme caution.

    The Core Issues Trust advert plainly breaks advertising standards because it tells lies, whereas the Stonewall advert was neither hateful nor dishonest, but it merely rebuked those who have a problem with gay sexuality, therefore it should not be banned.

  12. Surely the point about Core Issues Trust’s advert is that it is UNTRUE. Homosexuality is not a disease and cannot be cured.

    The fact that something offends someone is irrelevant. Art, literature music and philosophy should offend people – that is the way that prejudice, entrenched opinion and illegitimate power/oppression are defeated. It is the whole point of freedom of expression.

    On the other hand, hate expression should be censored, but that should make people very uneasy, as it is the thin end of a very obvious wedge. Society and the law should exercise this right of censorship with extreme caution.

    The Core Issues Trust advert plainly breaks advertising standards because it tells lies, whereas the Stonewall advert was neither hateful nor dishonest, but it merely rebuked those who have a problem with gay sexuality, therefore it should not be banned.

  13. What about “irresponsible” people who have actually made the conscious choice to be gay or bisexual for the heck of it or for the pleasure of the experience? And shouldn’t physicians be advising them to give it up (like cigarettes and cheeseburgers) because it puts them at greater risk of STDs than heterosexuals?

    • In reply to #15 by joost:

      What about “irresponsible” people who have actually made the conscious choice to be gay or bisexual for the heck of it or for the pleasure of the experience? And shouldn’t physicians be advising them to give it up (like cigarettes and cheeseburgers) because it puts them at greater risk of STDs than heterosexuals?

      Facts show that lesbianism is at the lowest risk for STDs compared to heterosexuals. There is also an extremely low chance of becoming pregnant outside of marriage. Perhaps clergy (not educated physicians) should be touting the advantages of lesbianism over heterosexuality. Your premise is clouded by religion and not facts.

      Facts are homosexuality is not a choice; it is a state of being. Homosexuality may give the individual subtle hermaphroditic appearances. Softer, smaller, or feminine appearance in men and plainness or “angularity” in lesbians. Haven’t you wondered why some gay men tend you have an slight difference in speech, or some characteristics that are physical in nature that are similar to females?

      You are confusing the state of being homosexual with a sexual act between people of the same sex. A very young child can be aware of their preference toward one sex over another at a young age and not be involved in a sexual act for many years later. Gay people exist and are not made. This is quite different from the few people who engage in sex with someone of the same sex for experimentation. But no matter what you say or think, they should have the right to do as they please providing they are consenting adults. Religion needs to step out of the picture.

    • In reply to #15 by joost:

      What about “irresponsible” people who have actually made the conscious choice to be gay or bisexual for the heck of it or for the pleasure of the experience? And shouldn’t physicians be advising them to give it up (like cigarettes and cheeseburgers) because it puts them at greater risk of STDs than heterosexuals?

      Being gay or bisexual is not a choice but something one discovers about oneself. My impression is that heterosexuals and homosexuals are equally likely to catch venereal diseases if they are promiscuous and take no precautions.

      • In reply to #20 by Garrick Worthing:

        Being gay or bisexual is not a choice but something one discovers about oneself. My impression is that heterosexuals and homosexuals are equally likely to catch venereal diseases if they are promiscuous and take no precautions.

        Surely some people whatever they think they are engage in homosexual behaviour based on choice rather than design. My understanding is that there is nothing more risky – as far as sex is concerned – than anal sex when it comes to STDs. Clearly, not engaging in it (as in having a vagina as an alternative insertion point) helps reduce one’s risk? After all, medicine today is primarily about prevention by lowering one’s risk of exposure. You can’t argue with that. In fact, I think most STD experts would go so far as to recommend monogamy for everyone which is something you think you’d be hearing only from clergy.

        • In reply to #21 by joost:

          Surely some people whatever they think they are engage in homosexual behaviour based on choice rather than design. My understanding is that there is nothing more risky – as far as sex is concerned – than anal sex when it comes to STDs. Clearly, not engaging in it (as in having a vagina as an alternative insertion point) helps reduce one’s risk? After all, medicine today is primarily about prevention by lowering one’s risk of exposure. You can’t argue with that. In fact, I think most STD experts would go so far as to recommend monogamy for everyone which is something you think you’d be hearing only from clergy.

          Whether anyone engages in sex is a matter of choice, regardless of his or her sexual orientation. Whether one contracts a venereal disease depends on whether one’s sexual partner is infected with such a disease, regardless of the orifices used in the intercourse between them. Everyone concerned about the spread of venereal diseases agrees that prevention of infection is best and people must work at reducing the risk of exposure. Promiscuity is a large part of the problem, but it also seems to be a constant in human society, even where strict controls are in place; people need to experiment as they grow up and learn about themselves and others. The need for safe sexual practices is therefore very important so that people can reduce the risk of exposure to venereal diseases where they choose to engage in casual sex. But monogamy is what most people settle for, and it is certainly the safest setting with regard to venereal disease. Even married people, however, have been known to be unfaithful, and that too exposes them to risk.

          • In reply to #34 by Garrick Worthing:

            Whether anyone engages in sex is a matter of choice, regardless of his or her sexual orientation. Whether one contracts a venereal disease depends on whether one’s sexual partner is infected with such a disease, regardless of the orifices used in the intercourse between them. Everyone concerned about the spread of venereal diseases agrees that prevention of infection is best and people must work at reducing the risk of exposure. Promiscuity is a large part of the problem, but it also seems to be a constant in human society, even where strict controls are in place; people need to experiment as they grow up and learn about themselves and others. The need for safe sexual practices is therefore very important so that people can reduce the risk of exposure to venereal diseases where they choose to engage in casual sex. But monogamy is what most people settle for, and it is certainly the safest setting with regard to venereal disease. Even married people, however, have been known to be unfaithful, and that too exposes them to risk.

            I don’t think it’s “regardless of the orifices used in the intercourse between them”. Medical science has shown that some orifices are more risky than others; from least risky to most risky as follows: oral, vaginal, anal. Male homosexuals are clearly at the highest risk in this regard and those who aren’t compelled by their biology (or neurology) and concerned about their health should avoid it.

          • In reply to #35 by joost:

            I don’t think it’s “regardless of the orifices used in the intercourse between them”. Medical science has shown that some orifices are more risky than others; from least risky to most risky as follows: oral, vaginal, anal. Male homosexuals are clearly at the highest risk in this regard and those who aren’t compelled by their biology (or neurology) and concerned about their health should avoid it.

            At a seminar run by the New Zealand AIDS Foundation some years ago I learnt that anal sex constituted approximately 50% of the sexual activities that gay men engaged in, so it is not the only way in which they enjoy sex. You are right about the health risks associated with oral, vaginal and anal sex and that anal sex is the riskiest, but not so risky as to require abstenance from it. In an exclusive partnership it is quite safe, provided neither partner has sex with anyone else. Outside such a context condoms should certainly be worn for vaginal and anal sex (in the case of the former there is a need to protect against both infection and impregnation). One of the speakers at that seminar advocated that condoms be worn even for oral sex, though this is considered to be the least hazardous orifice to use in sex. People do need to be educated about the risks associated with sex in all its forms and taught how best to deal with them, but it is not for the likes of you and me to tell them that they may not or should not do this or that in their bedrooms or wherever else they enjoy their sexual relations.

    • In reply to #15 by joost:

      What about “irresponsible” people who have actually made the conscious choice to be gay or bisexual for the heck of it or for the pleasure of the experience? And shouldn’t physicians be advising them to give it up (like cigarettes and cheeseburgers) because it puts them at greater risk of STDs than heterosexuals?

      Nice troll.

      I disagree with some of the responses here thoe. Is being gay a choice? A utilitarian moralist like me says it doesn’t matter. A utilitarian moralist like me says it is OK because it is not hurting anyone else and it feels good man.

      So, may I remind you that the biggest non-accidental cause of death for males 25-44 (1) is suicide. So, no, marginalizing gays is a bad idea.

      (1) http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4102.0Main+Features30Jun+2010

  14. This bit is just wrong:

    “The High Court’s ruling also said the Stonewall advertisement was “highly offensive to fundamentalist Christians and other religious groups whose religious belief is that homosexuality is contrary to God’s teachings”.”

    What happened to that bullshit about “homosexuality being OK, but just dont practice it”? Evangelicals are always harping on about how being gay is OK and that they are welcome in church, but just dont express that gayness in any physical way. You know all that “love the sinner hate the sin BS”

    How the hell can “homosexuality be contrary to Gods teachings” If a person is homosexual, then that’s the way that this “god” made them.

    Sounds like the High COurt is trying to be a bit accomodationist here. Give a punch to the fundies and a bit of a slap to the gays. That way the fundies get a little bit out of it.

    They deserve FUCK ALL.

    SG

  15. There would be so many possible variations :

    Not deluded. Ex-deluded, atheist and proud. Get over it.

    Not a priest. Ex-priest, atheist and proud. Support the Clergy Project.

    Not a nun. In which god do I believe ? – None ! Get over it ! (Probably the worst English pun a non-native speaker could come up with)

    Not a Muslim. Ex-Muslim. Atheism cured me. Get over it !

    • In reply to #24 by Byrneo:

      I don’t see how the ad is offensive. I don’t care if you’re pre-gay, post-gay or extra-gay. Get over it? I was never under it, but your ad certainly exposes your insecurity.

      The ad implies that homosexuality is an illness that people can be cured of, claims that this has been done, and dismissively insists that anybody who protests about the idea is immature and should “get over it”. The first and the third insult homosexuals (by implying their lifestyle is a disease) and are discriminatory on grounds of sexual orientation (no equivalent claims are made for other sexual orientations, but homosexuality has been singled out). The second is offensive to the public’s intelligence because it presumes lying to them is OK.

      • The ad was just a statement. If ignorant assholes want to buy bus ads – let them. It would be a different story if they were actively and forcibly trying to impose their will on people. You can choose not to be offended by words. If it was an ad that said “atheism can be cured” my response would be to laugh and think they’re a bunch of morons. What I find offensive are actions, such as rape victims being sentenced to lashings for their “crimes” or criminalising homosexuality.

        In reply to #25 by Zeuglodon:

        In reply to #24 by Byrneo:

        I don’t see how the ad is offensive. I don’t care if you’re pre-gay, post-gay or extra-gay. Get over it? I was never under it, but your ad certainly exposes your insecurity.

        The ad implies that homosexuality is an illness that people can be cured of, claims that this has been done, and dismissively insists that anybody who protests about the idea is immature and should “get over it”. The first and the third insult homosexuals (by implying their lifestyle is a disease) and are discriminatory on grounds of sexual orientation (no equivalent claims are made for other sexual orientations, but homosexuality has been singled out). The second is offensive to the public’s intelligence because it presumes lying to them is OK.

        • In reply to #33 by Byrneo:

          The ad wasn’t banned. The court decision was not that the ad couldn’t be shown, but rather that Transport for London did not act illegally by refusing to show the ad.

          The creators of the ad are still free to show the ad anywhere that it may be accepted.

  16. The High Court’s ruling also said the Stonewall advertisement was “highly offensive to fundamentalist Christians and other religious groups whose religious belief is that homosexuality is contrary to God’s teachings”.

    Then the judge is an idiot. There is a clear difference between the 2 cases.

    Stonewall’s pro-gay advert was only attacking other people’s OPINIONS. You can’t rule or legislate against offending people’s opinions. If you could, you would have to classify any statement as “highly offensive” if anyone strongly disagreed with it – which would include the judge’s own statement in this case!

    Whereas the proposed Core Issues Trust advert was attacking homosexuals for how they were born! That’s why it is genuinely offensive and why I think Transport for London was justified in banning the ad.

    I think Core Issues Trust should be allowed to express their views, as anyone should, but nobody else should have to be associated with them.

    • In reply to #37 by thebaldgit:

      The advertising authority in this country insists that adverts should be legal honest and truthful which pretty much rules this homophobic advert on just about every level.

      Hi Baldy,

      This case, of course, throws up the question of whether honest and truthful is a test that holds up to scrutiny.

      Personally, I’m fed up with Government nannying me and telling me what’s honest, and what isn’t. It seems to me that we need to stop being so lazy about judging other people’s reputations for ourselves.

      Peace.

      • In reply to #38 by Stephen of Wimbledon:

        . In reply to #37 by thebaldgit:

        The advertising authority in this country insists that adverts should be legal honest and truthful which pretty much rules this homophobic advert on just about every level.

        Hi Baldy,

        This case, of course, throws up the question of whether honest and truthful is a test that holds up to scrutiny.

        Personally, I’m fed up with Government nannying me and telling me what’s honest, and what isn’t.

        That’s what laws are for – they tell you that fraud and bank-robbery is dishonest!

        It seems to me that we need to stop being so lazy about judging other people’s reputations for ourselves.

        The courts are not interested if someone thinks bank-robbery or making false claims is OK, – You can think what you like, but they will go by the law!

        • In reply to #39 by Alan4discussion:

          Hi Alan,
          Sorry for not being clear.

          The courts are not interested if someone thinks bank-robbery or making false claims is OK, – You can think what you like, but they will go by the law!

          Okay. Getting back to advertising …

          My comment was based on the fact that there is a law – and the law includes guidelines on what people can say and not say in adverts. In other words, this is about Government censorship.

          The courts interpret that law, and I’m fine with that. My gripe is with the idea of a law of censorship in advertising.

          I suggested an alternative: Take down the law. Let people be dishonest, lie, say illegal things, parade their dishonesty. Newspapers do it, why should other corporations be treated differently?

          The alternative is that we go back to the time when we all had to deal with each other based on our reputations. If someone somewhere calculates that their reputation is worth cashing in for some short-term gain through a well placed lie … fine, go ahead.

          Note that I’m not saying we should strike down all laws. Laws against fraud, misrepresentation and libel would remain.

          Peace.

  17. There’s a bloke in court at the moment being prosecuted for selling bomb detection equpment that can’t possibly work. Same should apply for other dangerous delusions like homeopathic vaccines for malaria, or services to try and alter your sexuality with its inherent psychological dangers.

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