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Gay ‘cure’ London bus advert ban ruled ‘not illegal’

Mayor of London Boris Johnson banned an advert from a Christian group saying 'Not Gay! Ex-Gay, Post-Gay and Proud. Get Over It!'
High Court has ruled the ban on a 'gay cure' advert on London buses is not unlawful.
Photo montage by Scott Nunn.

The Mayor of London’s decision to ban a Christian group’s ‘gay cure’ advert from London buses was not illegal, a court has ruled.

Core Issues Trust, a non-profit Christian group, was banned by Boris Johnson from running a campaign calling for respect of individuals who claim they have been 'cured' of homosexuality.

The advert, a parody of gay rights charity Stonewall's 'Some People Are Gay. Get Over It!', would have said 'Not Gay! Ex-Gay, Post-Gay and Proud. Get Over It!'

Justice Lang, sitting at London's High Court, ruled the ban was 'procedurally unfair, in breach of its own procedures and demonstrated a failure to consider the relevant issues.'

But the ad was deemed to cause 'grave offence' to gay people, and would have increased 'the risk of prejudice and homophobic attacks'.

At the time, Johnson condemned the 'gay cure' advert as 'offensive' and said it could lead to retaliation against Christians.

Dr Mike Davidson, co-director of the Core Issues Trust, said the ban was a 'deep threat' to democracy and freedom of speech. 

Stonewall Chief Executive Ben Summerskill said: ‘Many people will be pleased by today’s decision.

'Had these voodoo “gay cure” adverts appeared in the pages of the Spectator or the Daily Telegraph it’s unlikely there would have been complaints.

'But in a city where over half of gay young people face bullying at school, and where tens of thousands of gay people are subjected to hate crimes every year just because of the way they were born, it’s perfectly proper for a mayor to object to the use of such advertising in an iconic public setting.’

No major mental health professional organization has ever sanctioned efforts to change sexual orientation and virtually all of them have released statements warning against 'gay cure' treatments.

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