Main | Thursday, April 12, 2012

BRITAIN: Christian Hate Group To Run "Ex-Gay" Ads On London Buses

An anti-gay Christian group has booked the above campaign to run on London's buses. The Guardian reports:
The full length advert, which will appear on five different routes in the capital, is backed by the Core Issues Trust whose leader, Mike Davies, believes "homoerotic behaviour is sinful". His charity funds "reparative therapy" for gay Christians who believe that they have homosexual feelings but want to become straight. The campaign is also backed by Anglican Mainstream, an worldwide orthodox Anglican group whose supporters have equated homosexuality with alcoholism. The advert will say: "Not gay! Post-gay, ex-gay and proud. Get over it!"

Post-gay and ex-gay are terms used by Christians and some psychotherapists and psychiatrists to refer to homosexual people who have undergone spiritual or pastoral therapy and, according to an Anglican Mainstream definition, have "now left a homosexual lifestyle [and experienced] an increased emotional and sexual attraction to the opposite biological gender and possibly a reduction in or loss of same-sex attraction." The buses are due to roll out on Monday morning on some of the most popular routes. They will be seen for two weeks travelling past St Paul's Cathedral, down Oxford Street, round Trafalgar Square and through Piccadilly Circus as well as across other parts of the capital.
Gay groups have denounced the campaign, which the Guardian states will likely be investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority as being in violation of laws against inciting anti-gay hatred. Rule 4.1 of the advertising code states: "Particular care must be taken to avoid causing offence on the grounds of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability or age." The campaign can also be contested on the grounds of the "truthfulness and substantiation" of any advertising claim, this one being that there is a such thing as "ex-gay."

UPDATE: We already have some action on this today's above-linked Guardian story. According to the same source, London Mayor Boris Johnson is now working to block the ads from ever appearing. Johnson says: "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."

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