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Christian group seeks removal of gay equality posters from London buses

Core Issues Trust had its ex-gay campaign banned from buses last year

The resumption of Stonewall's pro-gay bus ad campaign in London irks Christian group Core Issues Trust. Credit: stonewall.org.uk

Anti-gay Christian group Core Issues Trust is seeking a high-court injunction against the resumption of a pro-gay ad campaign on London buses, Pink News reports.

Gay advocacy group Stonewall is behind the campaign that features the slogan "Some people are gay. Get over it."

In 2012, Core Issues Trust produced its own advertisements with the message "Not gay! Ex-gay, post-gay and proud. Get over it," to be placed on 24 buses, but the campaign was pulled by Transport for London (TfL) following a directive by Mayor Boris Johnson to do so.

Core Issues Trust challenged the decision, telling the high court that the decision by TfL to pull the ads was unlawful and threatened democratic freedoms. But the court found that while TfL's ban was "procedurally unfair" and breached its own procedures, the factors against running the ads — that they would cause "grave offence," were perceived as homophobic and would increase the risk of prejudice and homophobic attacks — outweighed those concerns.   

Gay rights advocate Peter Tatchell disagreed with the ruling, saying Core Issues Trust should have been allowed to place the ads on buses, despite their offensive message.  

In an opinion run in Pink News, Tatchell said, "Banning these adverts reminds me of the bad old days when gay adverts were banned on the grounds that they were offensive. For decades, gay helplines, youth groups and campaign organisations faced bans on advertising their services. It is not right for the gay community to turn around and adopt the oppressive, anti-free speech tactics of our past oppressors." 

Core Issues Trust, which is appealing the high-court ruling, says TfL buses should not bear Stonewall's ads until there is a ruling on the appeal.

Pink News quotes a TfL spokesperson as saying that Stonewall's ads are "in line with our advertising policy."