London’s iconic red buses are set to carry a homophobic advert which suggests that gay people can be ‘cured’.
Core Issues Trust's advert states: 'Not gay! Post-gay, ex-gay and proud. Get over it!'
It’s a direct response to the current advert running on the side of 1,000 London buses from Stonewall, Britain’s leading lesbian, gay and bisexual campaign organization, which says: ‘Some people are gay. Get over it’.
The Stonewall adverts were booked to promote same-sex marriage equality which is currently being consulted on by the British government. The new ads mimic their design, color scheme and typeface.
The adverts have been booked by the Core Issues Trust which funds ‘reparative therapy’ attempting to ‘cure’ gay Christians of their sexuality. It’s leader, Mike Davies, believes ‘homoerotic behavior is sinful’.
The Guardian newspaper says the campaign is also backed by Anglican Mainstream, an worldwide orthodox Anglican group whose supporters have equated homosexuality with alcoholism.
It will be much smaller than the equivalent Stonewall campaign, only appearing on 26 buses on a handful of routes for two weeks.
The advert promotes ‘post-gays’ and ‘ex-gays’ – both terms used to describe people said to have changed their sexual orientation after therapy.
But the news comes less than a day after Dr Robert Spitzer, one of the leading psychiatrists to suggest that such therapies may work asked for his study supporting that idea to be withdrawn. He now believes that gay ‘therapy’ can be dangerous.
In Britain the Royal College of Psychiatrists and The British Medical Association are among the bodies to have condemned ‘gay cure’ therapy as ineffective and damaging.
It is believed several people have already complained about the adverts. One of them, Stuart Ross has demanded an investigation from the Advertising Standards Authority and for the Equality and Human Rights Commission to consider if it breaches the Equality Act.
He also wants Transport from London and the bus companies to remove the adverts and for them and any advertising agencies involved to distance themselves from the campaign.
And he has called on British Transport Police to investigate the planned campaign as a potential hate crime.
Ben Summerskill, the chief executive of Stonewall, said the adverts were clearly homophobic and told the Guardian: ‘The promotion of this voodoo therapy is hugely irresponsible given the damage that it appears to do to some people.’
But it is still possible the Core Issues Trust’s campaign will be stopped before it’s even started.
An Advertising Standards Authority spokeswoman told Gay Star News: ‘All UK ads should avoid containing anything that is likely to cause serious or widespread offence.
‘Without going through due process we can't say whether the ad is likely to be problematic. If anyone has concerns about the ad in question then they can lodge a complaint with us and we will establish whether or not there is a problem under the code.’
We are awaiting a comment from Transport for London.