Legal action over gay ads on London buses

Fri, 18 Oct 2013

A Christian group is taking legal action against Transport for London (TfL) for repeating a gay ad campaign on buses in disregard of comments from a High Court judge.

TfL has allowed a pro-gay ad by campaign group Stonewall to be displayed on buses, but banned an ad which states an alternative view.

In a previous High Court case, a judge said that decision was “inconsistent and partial”. The case is currently on appeal.

Challenge

But transport bosses have allowed the pro-gay ads to reappear before the Court of Appeal has decided the case.

This has sparked a fresh legal challenge by the Core Issues Trust supported by the Christian Legal Centre.

The pro-gay ad by Stonewall tells people who disagree with homosexuality to “Get over it!”

The ad for the Christian counselling group, Core Issues Trust, says: “Not Gay! Ex-Gay, Post-Gay and Proud. Get Over It!”

Ban

Earlier this year Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, urged TfL to ban the Core Issues Trust ad.

The judge in that original case, Mrs Justice Lang, said TfL’s decision to allow one advertisement but not the other was “inconsistent and partial”.

That case is being appealed, but before the outcome is known TfL have once again allowed the Stonewall ad to run.

Flouted

Dr Michael Davidson, founder of Core Issues Trust, is seeking an injunction forcing TfL to take the new advertisements down.

“I feel that Stonewall and the Defendant are deliberately flouting the rulings of the court by renewing their advertisement campaign on buses which was clearly prohibited by the earlier judgment of Mrs Justice Lang,” his application says.

“Until such time when we have the judgment of the Court of Appeal, the Defendant should not have allowed Stonewall’s advertisement to reappear on their buses.”

Flagrant

Andrea Williams director of the Christian Legal Centre, which is supporting the challenge, said: “Both Stonewall and Transport for London have acted in flagrant disregard for the judgment of Mrs Justice Lang.

“This provokes and goads the legal process because its decision on the matter is due at the beginning of December.”

A spokesman for TfL said: “These ads are in line with our advertising policy.”

Ben Summerskill, chief executive of Stonewall, said: “It does seem a tragedy that these people who make so much noise about being Christian don’t spend a little more of their money on tackling polio or Third World poverty but a lot of money on slightly frivolous legal actions.”

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