Libel On The Buses
Recently a poster promoting equality and financed by Stonewall ran on the sides of London buses. It said; ‘Some people are gay. Get over it!’ The campaign has been running around the world for quite some time.
Now a far-right Christian group who copied the ads with an anti-gay campaign set to run on London buses has had the campaign banned by the Mayor. Suggesting that sexual orientation is a curable sickness, the ads read; ‘Not gay! Ex-gay, post-gay and proud. Get over it!’ Apart from feeling that it unconsciously mimics dialogue from the Monty Python dead parrot sketch, I’m not inclined to take much notice of this, being of the opinion that the advert has not yet been created that can affect anyone’s opinion.
To me, posters are a faintly irritating but virtually invisible part of life, like flies. The trouble with this one is that it was backed by the Core Issues Trust whose leader, Mike Davies, believes “homoerotic behaviour is sinful”. His charity funds “reparative therapy” for gay Christians who want to be turned straight. The campaign is backed by Anglican Mainstream, a worldwide orthodox Anglican group whose supporters equate homosexuality with alcoholism.
Well, freedom of speech is important in any democracy, but surely there was a clearer case of libel here? (Yes, my research into libel cases is still going strong). The Christian groups used the same black, red and white colour scheme and similar typeface to Stonewall to create confusion and damage the charity, whom it still accuses of promoting the “false idea that there is indisputable scientific evidence that people are born gay”.
It’s interesting that it took the Mayor to make a stand, after the toothless ASA did nothing, as usual.