Human rights: London Mayor may face judicial review of decision to ban anti-gay adverts

Human rights: London Mayor may face judicial review of decision to ban anti-gay adverts

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson may be taken to court over his decision to impose a last-minute ban on adverts set to be displayed on London buses which claimed that gay people could be converted from homosexuality.

The adverts were produced by groups of evangelical Christians, and were set to run along with the slogan ‘Not gay, and proud’.

The groups were disappointed by the mayor’s decision to intervene at the last moment, and have now said that they are taking legal advice on whether the decision by the mayor can face a judicial review.

The groups claim the mayor’s decision breached their rights to freedom of religion and freedom of expression guaranteed under the European Convention on Human Rights.

Two of the groups are Anglican Mainstream and Core Issues Trust. Their supporters claim that gay Christians should seek counselling and even treatment interventions to try to reverse homosexual instincts. The groups have added that they are also considering taking action against the company who booked the adverts on their behalf, CBS Outdoor.

The Reverend Lynda Rose is a spokeswoman for Anglican Mainstream.

“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,” she said.

“We feel it is not right that people are not able to express legitimate views that are not an incitement to hatred,” she added.

The adverts were due to run on buses in the capital last week, and were seen as a direct response to a campaign being run by pro-gay rights group, Stonewall. Their campaign runs the slogan ‘Some people are gay… Get over it.’

The adverts were cancelled by Boris Johnson, who said: “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.”

The other main candidates for Mayor of London, Brian Paddick of the Liberal Democrats, and Ken Livingstone for Labour, also condemned the adverts.

Related links:

Read more on the story (The Guardian)

Free speech (FindLaw)

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