A Christian group which planned to run anti-gay adverts on London buses is seeking a judicial review of mayor Boris Johnson's decision to ban the campaign.
Anglican Mainstream and the Core Issues Trust claim Transport for London's refusal to run the advert, which read 'Not gay! Post-gay, ex-gay and proud. Get over it!', breached their rights to freedom of religion and expression.
As well as a judicial review of the decision by Johnson, who has ultimate control of London’s transport network, the extremist Christian groups may seek legal action for breach of contract against CBS Outdoors, the advertizing company which had booked the adverts.
The homophobic advert was due to appear on 26 buses running past historic London landmarks, including St Paul’s Cathedral, for two weeks from 16 April.
The advert mimicked the design and wording of the Stonewall pro-gay marriage campaign currently running on the side of 1,000 buses in the capital.
'Since Boris Johnson intervened, there seems to be a much broader issue about freedom of speech at stake and that is weighing heavily upon us,' Reverend Lynda Rose, spokeswoman for Anglican Mainstream, told The Guardian.
'We feel it is not right that people are not able to express legitimate views that are not an incitement to hatred.'
The Core Issues Trust funds ‘reparative therapy’ attempting to ‘cure’ gay Christians of their sexuality. It’s leader, Mike Davies, believes ‘homoerotic behavior is sinful’.
This kind of therapy has been condemned as ineffective and dangerous by professionals including the British Medical Association and the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
While the Advertising Standards initially prevaricated over the campaign, Transport for London intervened to pull the plug on the advert.
Reports indicate that Mayor of London Boris Johnson may have stepped in to avoid the embarrassing advert appearing in the run-up to the mayoral election on 3 May.