British judge upholds ban on Christian group's "gay cure" ads

Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:20pm EDT
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By Estelle Shirbon

LONDON (Reuters) - A British judge upheld on Friday a decision to ban a Christian group from placing adverts on London buses that suggested people could be cured of homosexuality.

The group, Core Issues Trust, wanted to place adverts on the side of London's distinctive red double-decker buses that read: "Not gay! Ex-gay, post-gay and proud. Get over it!"

The proposed adverts were a response to a campaign by gay rights group Stonewall, which had run adverts on London buses that read: "Some people are gay. Get over it!"

In a 35-page ruling, High Court judge Beverley Lang dismissed Core Issues Trust's claim for a judicial review into the ban on the adverts imposed by Transport for London (TFL).

"(The advert) was not a contribution to a reasoned debate," she wrote, saying that the group's freedom of expression was counter-balanced by the risk of causing grave offence to gay people and increasing homophobic attacks.

Core Issues Trust said it would appeal, arguing the judgment was "likely to stifle open and free debate" about homosexuality and discriminate against "those who reject a 'gay' identity".

The group says it aims to help "people who voluntarily seek to change from a 'gay' lifestyle to a gender-affirming one".

Stonewall welcomed the judgment, saying the decision to ban what it described as "voodoo 'gay cure' adverts" was correct.   Continued...