TRANSPORT for London (TfL) has defended its decision to allow
the gay-rights group Stonewall to advertise on the side of the
capital's buses, after the ex-gay group Core Issues Trust (CIT)
claimed that TfL was acting in breach of a court judgment.
The CIT had planned to run advertisements on the side of buses
in London in April last year, saying: "Not gay! Ex-gay, post-gay
and proud. Get over it!" The adverts were pulled before they
appeared, after the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, described them
as "clearly offensive".
Earlier this year, a High Court judge, Mrs Justice Lang,
rejected a challenge to the ban (News, 28 March). She said that the
CIT advert "encourages discrimination and does not foster good
relations or tackle prejudice or promote understanding", and ruled
that "TfL would be acting in breach of its duty" if it allowed the
advert to appear.
But she rebuked TfL, saying that the way it banned the
advertisement was in breach of its own advertising policy, and that
its "decision-making process fell below the standards to be
expected of a responsible public body".
The judge went on to say that "TfL's decision to exclude the
Trust's advertisement was inconsiderate and partial" in light of
its willingness to display adverts from Stonewall. She said that a
particular Stonewall advertisement "did not comply with TfL's own
restrictions", and was "highly offensive to fundamentalist
Christians and other religious groups whose religious belief is
that homosexuality is contrary to God's teaching".
The CIT will appeal against the judgment at a hearing in
December. But it is now criticising TfL after it emerged that
Stonewall's advertisement will appear again on London's buses this
The Christian Legal Centre, which is supporting CIT, said that
it was seeking "an emergency judicial review of TfL's decision to
allow Stonewall's adverts to be run [and] an interim injunction
pending the hearing in December".
It is not clear whether the Christian Legal Centre has started
proceedings, a spokeswomen said. "We're unable to give out any
further information at the moment."
TfL defended its position, saying: "The Stonewall advert is in
keeping with our advertising guidelines."