London Mayor Kills Anti-Gay Bus Ads: Homophobes Consult Lawyers

Boris-johnson_1London buses: It's where controversy happens. Five years ago, put ads on the side of London buses warning non-Christians they were doomed to hell. Atheists complained. A year later, in direct response to the ads, British atheists bought bus-side ads reading "There's Probably No God. Now Stop Worrying And Enjoy Your Life." Christians complained, and even sought a legal remedy. There was none. Notably, London's mayor never saw fit to become involved in these arguments.

Now he has. The "Core Issues Trust Campaign," an outreach effort funded by a Christian group called Anglican Mainstream, recently purchased ad-space on London's buses which it intended to use to broadcast the message: "Not gay! Post-gay, ex-gay and proud. Get Over It." (This was a response to a previous bus ad purchased by Stonewall, which read "Some People Are Gay. Get Over It.") The ads were to begin running Monday. Now they never will, because Mayor Boris Johnson (pictured at right), who heads the city's public transit apparatus, has declared them uniquely offensive.

From the Andover Advertiser:

Mr Johnson, standing for re-election next month, said: "It is clearly offensive to suggest being gay is an illness someone recovers from and I am not prepared to have that suggestion driven around London on our buses."

But Anglican Mainstream refuses to be silenced. They have solicited the help of the law firm Aughton Ainsworth, and hope to see the mayor's decision reversed.

From the Advertiser:

Mike Davidson, director of the Core Issues Trust, has criticised the decision announced by Mr Johnson, saying: "I didn't realise censorship was in place. We went through the correct channels and we were encouraged by the bus company to go through their procedures. They okayed it and now it has been pulled."

TfL [Transport for London, the city's public transit apparatus] has said that the adverts are not "consistent with TfL's commitment to a tolerant and inclusive London".


  1. Schlukitz says

    These anti-gay, Christian homophobes never give up without a fight.

    “You have no right to say anything unpleasant about us, but we have a legal right to say anything we like about you queers.” is their mental set.

    And “they” accuse of of wanting “special treatment”?

    I was just waiting for the legal action to come. It always does.

  2. says

    there were complaints from some “Christian Groups” in Toronto over a series of subway posters that read “There is no God but Allah”

    well, for starters, if ya wanna get real then ALLAH means GOD. the same way “une pomme” means “an apple”

    i’ve seen, in countless cities, all those john 3:16 posters, and more explicit ones that basically say “Being a Christian is the one and only true Way To Be, and all other ways are false and you need Jeebus and without Him you’re utterly doomed in this life and the next”

    So i’m not sure why people would be getting their panties in a bunch. I guess it’s the same mentality that leads to people opposing the spread of islam but promoting the spread of conservative-christianity. *eyeroll*

    but still, “post-gay, ex-gay and proud!”? no, you’re not. you’re just relieved that your lie has gotten your piece-of-s**t religious community off your back. and to think, all you have to do is break God’s 9th Commandment on a daily basis to do it.
    nice trade off, eh?

  3. Ninong says

    It’s worthwhile noting that he’s a Conservative, as is David Cameron. Can you imagine prominent Republicans over here being as supportive of gay rights? The biggest stumbling block over there is the Church of England.

  4. says

    Boris has a pretty shady record when it comes to gay rights issues. I’d congratulate him for doing this but all of the candidates running for mayor would have done the same thing. It’s just a quick way to score brownie points before the election.

    It’s strange that American style super Conservatives seem to be getting a lot of press attention over here recently. Protesters outside abortion clinics, a member of Parliament attempting to have abstinence taught in sex education and now this. The people who commissioned this ad call themselves a charity, I’d like to see who their donors are.

    I’d also like to know how an advert promoting a dangerous form of ‘therapy’ passed the ASA yet a Heinz mayonnaise advert featuring a same sex kiss on the check was pulled because 200 people complained.

  5. Alex says

    Europeans are usually better than Americans at comprehending that there is a difference between stating an opinion and speech that is meant to incite. The later is not covered under the protection of free speech.

  6. J. Leo says

    The UK and Europe have usually been pretty clear on the separation of church and state in modern times. Perhaps that is because they have lived through theocracies and church run states in times passed. Not so in America and that could be why these christian extremeists have not been publicly pulled down from their soap boxes and soundly beaten. I am so sorry to see this taking hold in the UK once more.

  7. Andrew says

    Good for BoJo. (His publicist was going to call him BJ … but stopped just in time. Lol.)

    Many people hate him – and not just for his unkempt looks. Others think he’s run London pretty well. He made a good call on this one, anyhow.

  8. scotsyank says

    I’m American born, but I left that bigoted country 19 years ago. With pleasure.
    This won’t be an issue with thinking voters in the UK. Equality is what most people want.

  9. ratbastard says


    How many big city openly gay or ‘minority’ [lets say black for the sake of argument] mayors are there in the UK? In Scotland? When will there be a black or say Indian or Pakistani British PM? Just exactly diverse really is Scotland,demographically? How large is the ‘white’ population vs black, Asian,etc.? The UK itself is 90% [!] white, it’s black population is 2-3%. By comparison the U.S. is about 75% white. The black population alone is 13% nationally, some southern states are 25-30% black. California and Texas have minority non-Hispanic white populations. My state in America has had gay MARRIAGE since 2004 [Mitt Romney was governor]. The modern post WW2 gay civil rights movement was started in America, others followed. BTW: one of those American cities with an openly gay lesbian mayor is Houston, Texas, 5th largest city in America. And it was never necessary in America, even though violence occurred during black civil rights movement, to suspend and local state governments and station regular army troops under martial law for over 30 years, like N. Ireland.

  10. BABH says

    In the US, the mayor’s action would be flagrantly unconstitutional. Even hate groups have 1st Amendment rights, thank goodness

    If I were British I would fight for the homophobes’ rights on this one, just as the ACLU fights for the rights of everyone from communists to neo-nazis in the US.

  11. mynci_bone says

    Of course, Ratbastard, the Northern Ireland situation might have been resolved sooner and many civilian lives saved in Northern Ireland and the mainland UK had the IRA not been funded so amply and for so many years by US citizens… In fact, it wasn’t until several months after 9/11 that the US government decided it was a little unethical to declare a War on Terror but allow the IRA to collect money on US soil as a “charity”.

    But back to the original story and away from Ratbastard’s fit of pique because someone dared to challenge his view that American exceptionalism is a fact. Quite simply all countries have shady episodes in their past (and some quite recent) and the myth that the US is the “Land of the Free” is as self-deluded as the Right’s claims about the phrase “In God We Trust”: if you’re spoiling for a competition, I suggest you read a little more widely into US history first.

    It strikes me that the Advertising Standards Authority could quite easily justify the banning of these ads simply because they make claims that aren’t true: sort of like if I ran ads claiming, “Got cancer? Forget conventional treatments – they don’t work: try our coffee enemas and cod liver oil tablets instead” or “Our organisation’s scientists have said that HIV does not cause AIDS – safer sex is just an attempt to control you – eat, drink and be very merry”.

  12. jamal49 says

    Please stand your ground, Lord Mayor. To the bitter end. Then, start a campaign against the homophobes and expose them: that unholy union of conservative Anglicans, Muslims, Evangelicals, Catholics and other bigots.

  13. ratbastard says


    What a load of feces; the IRA has completely infiltrated by British intelligence agencies since the ’70s. They even orchestrated bombings and other terrorist activity on the British mainland.

    Other than that, the IRA funded itself with criminal activity like armed robberies and extortion, in Ulster and the Republic and England. And even America, where they hooked up with organized crime elements, at least one notorious example being a FBI top echelon informant. In that case, the FBI stopped the gun smuggling and informed the British, but of course the British were already aware of it.

    BTW: The IRA have a Marxist far left ideology, and wanted to persecute the church and establish a far left marxist state.

    Also, the various ‘Unionist’ [Protestant] paramilitary terrorist groups actually killed more people than the IRA; they too were/are basically organized crime gangs, which is how they fund themselves.

    The Brits used N. Ireland to build up their military/industrial complex and parlay the expertise they developed in urban warfare/interrogation techniques for money, power and influence with their allies and on the international stage. They engaged in incredibly duplicitous behavior. So cry me a river. I feel terrible for the innocent victims whatever side they were on, not for the British, Northern Irish or Republic’s governments. They allowed a horrendous terrorist campaign, martial law and gross violations of human rights to occur for a good 30 odd years in an otherwise advanced western European nation. Generations were born and raised knowing only terrorism, urban warfare, martial law, and many lives were ruined and lost. inexcusable. Like I said, we had serious problems in America, but they were settled mostly peacefully through the political process. Mississippi, Alabama, etc. weren’t placed basically under martial law for 30-odd years, late 60s – late 90s.

  14. mynci_bone says

    Ah… You’re a conspiracy nut, ratbastard. I see. Not much point arguing your misinformation on IRA funding and military intelligence. But you might want to do a little research on the use of martial law throughout US history – and who it’s been used against.

    You must be very proud of the “peaceful” civil rights movement, especially in view of the racial segregation laws that existed in the US. Not so proud of the latter? Or of the lynchings? Micarriages of justice?

    I guess it might be something to be proud of in light of the genocidal policies pursued against the native americans and the acquisition of their sovereign territories… Just how big was the USA when it declared independence? And of course, you’re a nation of avowed anti-imperialists aren’t you? Not like those pesky European countries – what would you called the acquisitive expansion west? “Lebensraum?” And your overseas acquisitions were/are strictly “strategic”, no? And your propping up of various regimes in the remainder of the Americas? Of course, self-preservation trumps the rights of man – especially men (and women) who aren’t part of the Union. I suggest any crying of rivers on either mine or your part is aimed at the global victims of the US military-industrial complex – past, present and no doubt future.

    Did you tremble with righteous indignation and fear when you typed “marxist”? Did you fervently wish for the return of McCarthy, lest such insidious socialist ideas as providing citizens with healthcare take root? You must be proud of that upstanding American and his legacy.

    Sure you’ve had your “serious problems”… lol.

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