Anti-Gay British christian conversion therapy group seeks immediate removal of London's pro-gay bus ads
LONDON, UK -- The anti-gay Christian group which advocates gay-to-straight conversion therapy has lodged a legal challenge against Transport for London's bus adverts reading "Some People Are Gay, Get Over It!"
The Core Issues Trust has filed suit in the British Capital City's High Court in an attempt to force removal of several hundred signs placed by Stonewall UK, Britain’s largest LGBTQ equality rights organisation.
The Trust is claiming that Transport for London and Stonewall UK are ignoring the ruling by the High Court last March, that allowed for the appellate process to proceed in a case brought by the trust after Transport for London refused to place its advertising campaign. The Trust’s adverts had read: “Not Gay. Ex-Gay, Post-Gay and Proud. Get over it!” those adverts were in response to a previous Stonewall Bus ad campaign. Mayor of London Boris Johnson had ordered Transport for London to pull the campaign before it could run.
At the time, the mayor said: “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.”
A judge ruled while Johnson had not abused his position as chairman of Transport for London when he banned the Core Trust campaign, the judge also noted that the process in introducing the ban was procedurally unfair, in breach of its own procedures and demonstrated a failure to consider the relevant issues. However, according to the judge that was mitigated by factors against allowing the ad, including that it would “cause grave offence” to those who were gay and was perceived as homophobic thus increasing the risk of prejudice and homophobic attacks."
Questioning the decision to allow the Stonewall’s campaign in ruling allowing one and not the other was ‘inconsistent and partial, which left the Core trust open to have the ability to appeal.
The Trust appealed the decision earlier this summer and as this new campaign by Stonewall UK appeared on Transport for London buses, Dr Michael Davidson, founder of Core Issues Trust filed the lawsuit asking for an injunction until the appeal is heard.
“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." Davidson said adding,
“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.”
Ben Summerskill, Stonewall Uk's executive director reacted telling the British media,
“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.”
A spokesperson for Transport for London responded Thursday saying "These ads are in line with our advertising policy."