Boris Johnson Hub




Christian Ex-gay Org Loses Court Battle Over London Bus Ads

BusCore Issues Trust — a Christianist group that sought to promote ex-gay therapy via London bus advertisements — have lost their appeal of a lower court ruling the absolved London Mayor Boris Johnson of any impropriety in banning their ads.

Making good on his 2008 pledge to make London the most “gay-friendly city in the world,” in 2012 Johnson banned the bus advertisements.

The ads read, “Not Gay! Ex-Gay, Post-Gay and Proud. Get over it!” and were a parody of similar ads placed by the UK LGBT group Stonewall that read, “Some people are gay. Get over it!”

In retaliation, the group sued even going so far to accuse Johnson for banning the adverts to court the gay vote during the 2012 election. In 2013, a judge ruled narrowly in favor of Johnson’s ban


London Mayor Accused Of Banning 'Ex-Gay' Group's Bus Ads To Court Gay Vote

BorisjohnsonA London Christian organization, The Core Issues Trust, was infuriated when now mayor Boris Johnson (right) banned a series of gay conversion therapy advertisements which had appeared on public transportation. Johnson, able to exact the ban because of his position as chairman of the Transport for London commission, is now being investigated after Core Issues accused him of acting "for an improper use," namely to gain the gay vote in his campaign for mayor. The Core Issues Trust ads read, "Not Gay! Ex-Gay, Post-Gay and Proud. Get over it!" and were a response to pro-gay group Stonewall's own bus advertisements carrying the familiar moniker: "Some people are gay. Get over it!"

BBC News reports:

...ruling on the charity's appeal, the Master of the Rolls Lord Dyson said evidence had been produced of "an email which unequivocally states that the mayor 'instructed' TfL to pull the advertisement" just before the 2012 mayoral elections.

He said the need for examination of the role of the mayor was even greater because the email sent on 12 April 2012 "shows that the mayor's office contacted the Guardian (newspaper) immediately, apparently in order to make political capital out of the story".

Arrangements had also been made for the mayor to appear the following day at a hustings organised by Stonewall.

The judge said: "This is a most unsatisfactory state of affairs."

BusadIf Johnson is cleared of the "improper use" charge, the judge's initial decision to ban the anti-gay advertisements will stand. The Core Issues Trust is not going down without a fight, though:

Dr Mike Davidson, who leads The Core Issues Trust, said he would write to the mayor to ask for all emails linked to the ban, "current and potentially deleted", to be made available to his lawyers.

Andrea Minichiello Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre which supported the trust, said: "In a mature democracy both sides of a debate should be heard but it seems that Boris Johnson, Transport for London and Stonewall are intent to shut down the Christian side of the debate by fair means or foul.

"It is a great relief that the Master of the Rolls has ruled to hold to account arbitrary use of the exercise of power by a public authority".

Transport for London reported that it would supply any further evidence needed in court.


British Christian Organization Sues London Transit Authority Over Pro-Gay Advertisements

Gay-bus-boris_2490701b

There's a bit of a storm brewing over London city buses these days--or rather, over the advertisements printed on the side of some buses sponsored by UK LGBT rights group Stonewall that read 'Some people are gay. Get over it!' The Telegraph reports:

A traditionalist Christian group has lodged papers at the High Court attempting to force Transport for London to take down hundreds of new billboards on double-decker buses telling people who disapprove of homosexuality to “get over it”.

It claims that transport chiefs are deliberately ignoring a ruling by a High Court judge that the posters, from the gay rights group Stonewall, are “highly offensive to fundamentalist Christians” who believe that gay sex is a “sin”.

In response to the Stonewall advertisements, Core Issues Trust, a Christian group that purports to provide "reorientation" therapy that can turn gay people straight, bought advertisement space on London's buses for billboards that would read 'Not Gay! Ex-Gay, Post-Gay and Proud. Get Over It!'

London Mayor Boris Johnson intervened and banned the Christian advertisements, calling them "clearly offensive" for likening homosexuality to an illness.  In response, Core Issues Trust took the case to court.  From The Telegraph:

In her judgment Mrs Justice Lang ruled that Mr Johnson had not abused his position by banning the adverts but went on to question the decision to allow the earlier Stonewall advertisements as well.

TfL’s decision to allow one advertisement but not the other was “was inconsistent and partial”, she ruled. The outcome of an appeal is due later this year.

Stonewall's advertisements, the High Court judge wrote in her ruling, are "highly offensive to fundamentalist Christians" who believe gay sex is sinful."  Now, Dr. Michael Davidson, the founder of Core Issues Trust, has filed an urgent judicial review seeking an injunction barring Transport for London from placing new Stonewall ads on London buses.

"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," Davidson told the court in his application for review.

A spokesman for Transport for London told The Telegraph simply, "These ads are in line with our advertising policy."


London Mayor Boris Johnson Wins Court Battle Over Barring Christian 'Ex-Gay' Group's Ads from Buses

A judge has ruled in favor of London Mayor Boris Johnson in a case brought by a Christian group challenging Johnson's decision to ban "gay cure" ads from city buses, the Guardian reports:

Boris-johnsonA judge found on Friday that Boris Johnson did not abuse his position as chairman of Transport for London (TfL) last April when he imposed the ban on the advert, which suggested that people could be cured of homosexuality.

The decision is a defeat for the Core Issues Trust, a Christian charity that funds "reparative therapy" for gay Christians, which it claims can "develop their heterosexual potential". They believe Johnson was "politically driven" when he intervened to block the ad.

The ad posters earmarked for the sides of the capital's buses read: "Not Gay! Ex-Gay, Post-Gay and Proud. Get over it!"

Johnson condemned the "gay cure" ad as "offensive to gays" and said it could lead to retaliation against the wider Christian community.

The judge agreed, though she said that Johnson's process "was procedurally unfair, in breach of its own procedures and demonstrated a failure to consider the relevant issues".

The judge also allowed an appeal, but said she thought it didn't have much of a chance.


Tory MP: Conservative Gay Marriage Plans 'Barking Mad'

DaviddaviesWith David Cameron, Boris Johnson and other high-profile conservative leaders across the pond coming out for marriage equality, expect to hear and see plenty of dissension from party peers who stick to more traditional right-wing politics, particularly MP David TC Davies.

He's actually already started, saying this weekend that his fellow Tories' plan pushing for same-sex marriage are "barking mad."

"There is a political calculation here, at some level, that this is going to be good and if we go ahead with it David Cameron's going to be carried shoulder high back into number 10 by Stonewall activists, and it simply isn't going to happen," said Davies during an interview with BBC Radio Wales.

"What is going to happen is that we're going to lose a large number of very loyal activists who've gone out and campaigned for us over the years and who don't like this idea, so politically it's barking mad."

The most egregious of Davies odious remarks, however, was his assertion, most parents would prefer their children not to be gay."

I think most people are very tolerant and have no problem at all if people are gay but, and I hate to say this in a way because I expect it's going to cause controversy, but I think most parents would prefer their children not to be gay, knowing most parents want grandchildren if nothing else.

Despite his clear aggression toward gay people, Davies also claimed, "If there are any sort of areas where there isn't full equality with married couples then I'd be more than happy to support making changes to civic ceremonies…" How generous...


Tories Launch 'Freedom To Marry,' Say 'Marriage Should Be Open To All'

UnionjackJust a few days after British PM David Cameron said "I don't want gay people to be excluded from a great institution [of marriage]," 19 equalliy powerful, equally conservative politicians, including London Mayor Boris Johnson, Education Secretary Michael Gove and Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt, who is an evangelical christian, joined Cameron in the fight for equality by forming a new coalition, "Freedom to Marry."

In a letter published in the Sunday Telegraph, the group wrote, "Marriage should be open to all, regardless of sexuality."

“We recognize that civil partnerships were an important step forward in giving legal recognition to same sex couples. But civil partnerships are not marriages, which express a particular and universally understood commitment," said the Tory leaders.

Nick Herbert, the openly gay former police minister who brought the group together, also penned his own op-ed today saying his party must learn from the American Republicans: alienating LGBT people and their allies brings nothing but electoral gloom.

As the Republicans found in the recent presidential elections, there is no mileage in alienating the new generation of voters or what is, even in the United States, a growing majority of public opinion. President Obama endorsed gay marriage and was re-elected. So, in London, was Boris Johnson.

Winning politicians who have built the broad base of voter support that is needed to gain office have got themselves on the right side of this argument. It is not gay marriage which will cost Conservatives votes: it is failing to win the common ground.

Cameron said the legislation will be introduced in 2013, meaning the England may see same-sex marriages by 2014.

This British Freedom to Marry movement comes after it was reported last September that Tories were meeting with leaders from the States' Freedom to Marry coalition.


Trending



Towleroad - Blogged