Thursday, 12 April 2012

On The Buses: Busted

The Twittersphere has been ABLAZE this afternoon over news that posters bearing the legend, ‘Not gay! Ex-gay, post-gay and proud. Get over it!’, would be appearing on London buses next week.
This was announced in a statement by two rabidly anti-gay Christian grouplets, Anglican Mainstream and Core Issues, who said it was their response to Stonewall's current advertising campaign; "Some people are gay. Get over it!"
But these went further than Coalition 4 Marriage's highly contentious press and online adverts, as they suggest gay people could, should and can be "cured".
Initially the idea that these would be approved sounded so improbable I wondered if it was an evangelical prank - a false flag campaign that wasn't really happening, but was just designed to generate much sound and fury, and thus loads of free publicity.
Which it has.
But apparently the Advertising Standards Authority had okayed it, claiming the advert "does not infringe any advertising rules in the UK".
Section 4.1 of the ASA Code states; "Marketing communications must not contain anything that is likely to cause serious or widespread offence. Particular care must be taken to avoid causing offence on the grounds of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability or age. Compliance will be judged on the context, medium, audience, product and prevailing standards."
Its blatantly false claims about the voodoo of conversion cures are also clearly in contravention of Section 3.
[Update: "Core Issues co-director Mike Davidson said: "We went through the correct channels and we were encouraged by the bus company to go through their procedures. They okayed it and now it has been pulled." BBC News].
Mind you the ASA have form on appeasing homophobic religious nutters. 
At around 6pm it was announced that the campaign had been blocked at the behest of the hapless, hopeless Mayor Of London, Boris Johnson - after The Guardian told his office what was going on.
Transport For London then tweeted to say that they had also been completely unaware of them.
What a shower, what a joke, what a farce!

Update: Alok Jha in The Guardian online on why the claims of "conversion therapy" are junk science.


  1. Ken Livingstone banned Sandals anti-gay ads from the tube, by the way.
    Boris clearly could not care.

  2. Well, at least it has been rejected, that's the main thing.

  3. ^ Also in 2007 TfL refused/banned a tube ad for Gay Times as it featured a gay couple, claiming one of them was in an "unnecessary state of undress".
    ie in his underpants!

  4. Well done to Pink News for drawing the story to people's attention. The Guardian only picked it up later in the day after dozens of tweets on the subject.

  5. Patrick Strudwick has just tweeted saying how "proud" he was to have broken the story - even though his piece quoted from Pink News (uncredited)!