25 February 2013

Christian Concern-High Court to hear key freedom of expression case following ban on bus poster: :

On Thursday (28 February) the High Court will hear the case of a Christian group which was denied the freedom to express its views on the legitimacy of therapy for those dealing with unwanted feelings of same-sex attraction.
Top: Core Issues' banned poster
Bottom: Stonewall's bus poster,
which was allowed
Core Issues Trust, a non-profit Christian ministry, was prohibited by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, from running a bus advertising campaign calling for respect for individuals with homosexual issues who do not identify as "gay" but see themselves as "ex-gay" or "post-gay".  

The Trust’s director, Dr Mike Davidson, had entered into a contract with TfL to run the advertisements on 24 buses across London reading “Not Gay. Ex Gay, Post Gay and Proud.  Get over it!”.
Mr Johnson intervened to stop the advertisements just hours before they were due to become public, claiming they would cause “offence” to homosexuals.  However, he had sanctioned an alternative bus campaign by homosexual activist group Stonewall stating “Some people are Gay. Get over it!” (see picture, right).  

On Thursday, the Trust will ask Judges to reverse the ban on the basis that the Mayor had unlawfully restricted free speech, and had discriminated against the Trust by stifling one side of the debate on the issue.

Dr Davidson, who will be supported by the Christian Legal Centre, said: “This is all about being free to talk about these issues, and the right of individuals to take a sexual identity that is consistent with other values in their lives.  Those individuals who are post gay or ex gay are a sexual minority suffering discrimination because they are outside the purportedly ‘normative’ homosexual paradigm.

“It was a mistake to assume these views we were expressing came from entrenched homophobia, and failed to recognise that people who want to walk away from their homosexual feelings are a group in their own right."

Andrea Williams, director of the Christian Legal Centre, said:

“In a truly democratic society people should be free to choose to change their behaviour and move away from homosexual behaviour if they wish.

“The possibility that a section of the public will take ‘offence’ to a particular viewpoint is not a legitimate ground for restricting freedom of expression. The concept is simply being used by the State to censor opposing views and obliterate debate in the public sphere.

“Boris Johnson needs to realise his mistake and ensure there is freedom for all in the marketplace of ideas. He cannot prefer one group over another.”
Please pray
This case has wide implications for Christian freedom of expression on sexual ethics in the public sphere. Please pray that the Judges' decision would set a new trend for protecting freedom of expression, particularly concerning sexual ethics.

Please donate
If you want to see freedom of expression protected in the UK, please prayerfully consider donating to this case.

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