A UK court has ruled that London Mayor Boris Johnson was right to ban an advert which advocated gay conversion procedures. The ad from a Christian group, the Core Issues Trust, was due to feature on London buses in April 2012 before being pulled by the city’s transit agency, Transport for London (TfL).
The planned poster read: “Not Gay! Ex-Gay, Post-Gay and Proud. Get over it!”
The ad suggested that gay people could be assisted to move themselves out of homosexuality. Presiding judge for the case, Mrs. Justice Lang said there was legitimate reason not to allow the advert to run given that it would be offending many people.
“The advertisement would cause grave offense to a significant section of the many inhabitants of London; and, for those who are gay, it was liable to interfere with the right to respect for their private and family life.”
Core Issues Trust had contended that the decision from TfL to ban their ad was politically motivated on the part of the agency’s chairman, Mayor Johnson. The court ruled that although this was true, TfL was right nonetheless to pull the ad to “avoid criticism and controversy.”
The European Convention of Human Rights provides the right to freedom of expression, but this is subject to certain restrictions when these are justified. This decision in the UK comes as it was announced that anti-islam and anti-gay ads would be coming to San Francisco buses.
These are being permitted under First Amendment regulations for free speech, despite condemnation from City officials, activists and religious leaders.