A gay cure group is to pursue Transport for London for allowing Stonewall to display its “Some people are gay. Get over it!” campaign on London buses.
The challenge, mounted by the Christian Legal Centre and the Core Issues Trust, comes after a court upheld TfL's decision to ban gay cure posters. The Christian activists argue Stonewall's campaign is similarly offensive.
The complainant is Dr Mike Davidson, of Core Issues Trust, a gay cure outfit. Last year, Davidson himself designed posters based on Stonewall's campaign to be put on London red buses. His posters read: “Not Gay! Ex-Gay, Post-Gay and Proud. Get over it!"
London Mayor Boris Johnson banned the posters, bought for four buses, with TfL arguing that the Core Issues Trust posters "breached TfL's advertising policy as in our view it contained a publicly controversial message and was likely to cause widespread offence to members of the public."
TOP STORIES TODAY
A Judicial Review upheld TfL's decision earlier this year. Banning 'gay cure' posters on London buses was not unlawful, Mrs Justice Lang ruled, but she suggested the Stonewall campaign should also not have been allowed because of their offensive nature.
The High Court Judge granted leave to appeal after the hearing in March, and the case against TfL will go before the Master of the Rolls in December.
But now the Core Issues Trust is seeking an emergency judicial review of TfL’s decision to allow Stonewall’s adverts to be run again on buses this October.
Core Issues Trust will be seeking an interim injunction pending the hearing in December, which would prevent the adverts from being displayed on the buses.
Stonewall slammed the legal battle as a waste of money. Many Christians will no doubt despair that the Core Issues Trust is yet again choosing to spend an estimated £30,000 on legal fees to defend their voodoo ‘gay cure’ practices.
"It will not be lost on many that a more Christian way to spend the money would be to help Sightsavers restore the sight of 7,500 children," said Richard Lane, the charity's media manager.
Andrea Minichiello Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, said: “Stonewall’s actions show a blatant disregard for the law. The High Court’s judgment in March was clear that Stonewall’s adverts were offensive and should not be displayed on the buses. To then go and put them on buses again before the Master of the Rolls has settled the matter is provocative and shows that Stonewall thinks it is above and beyond the law.
“Stonewall has a track record of using the law and the decisions of the courts to push its own agenda. But when a court makes a decision which is not to Stonewall’s liking, as in this case, it ploughs on regardless with its agenda, showing contempt for the rule of law in the process.”
In her judgement in March this year, Mrs Justice Lang said the Stonewall advertisement "was highly offensive to fundamentalist Christians and other religious groups whose religious belief is that homosexuality is contrary to God’s teachings.
"TfL sought to justify the Stonewall advertisement on the grounds that it furthered TfL’s objectives under the Equality Act, but declined to provide any detail about the basis of the decision.
"I doubt whether this confrontational advertisement did anything to 'tackle prejudice' or 'promote understanding' among homophobic people. It was more likely to spark retaliation, as indeed it did in the case of Anglican Mainstream and the Trust."