Christian group to sue Mayor of London Boris Johnson over 'gay cure' bus ads
Published 13/04/2012 | 14:49
The Christian group behind the recent attempt to place "gay cure" adverts on London buses have instructed lawyers to sue both the Mayor of London and the company that initially agreed to host the adverts after they were banned at the last minute.
Aughton Ainsworth, a Manchester based law firm with a long track record of taking on controversial religious cases, have been hired by Anglican Mainstream to issue legal proceedings against both Boris Johnson and CBS Outdoor.
The adverts were meant to begin running next week and mimicked a recent campaign by the gay-rights group Stonewall which used the strapline “Some people are gay, get over it!”.
Using a similar font and colours, Christian groups had created rival adverts which read: “Not gay! Ex-gay, post-gay and proud. Get over it!”. Ex-gay and post-gay are terms used by evangelicals to refer to people who, through therapy and prayer, claim to have abandoned their homosexuality.
But London Mayor Boris Johnson ordered them to be pulled at the last minute arguing that they were offensive.
"London is one of the most tolerant cities in the world and intolerant of intolerance,” he 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."
It is believed lawyers for Anglican Mainstream are now looking at two potential legal avenues - the first is to sue for breach of contract; the second is to claim that the group’s human rights were breached under articles nine and ten of the Human Rights Act. The two articles protect freedom of conscience and freedom of expression and are qualified rights.
A TfL spokesperson said the adverts were not "consistent with TfL’s commitment to a tolerant and inclusive London."