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London ban on anti-gay bus ad put in doubt by court of appeal ruling

Monday, January 27, 2014
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Competing ads: Stonewall UK's message (top) that "some people are gay;" Core Issues Trust's ad (below) that some people are "ex-gay" and proud.

Competing ads: Stonewall UK’s message (top) that “some people are gay;” Core Issues Trust’s ad (below) that some people are “ex-gay” and proud.

LONDON — A ban on a Christian charity’s bus advertisements suggesting that gay people can “cured” was put in doubt on Monday by a court of appeal judgment.

The court ordered an investigation into whether London mayor Boris Johnson acted “for an improper purpose” when he ordered the ban, reported The Guardian.

The posters, which were to run on 24 buses, said: “Not Gay. Ex-Gay, Post-Gay and Proud. Get over it!” and were in response to a previous poster campaign by gay rights group Stonewall UK, which said: “Some people are gay. Get over it!”

The Core Issues Trust had claimed that Johnson unlawfully used his position as chairman of Transport for London (TfL) to prohibit the advertisement on buses to secure support from the gay community prior to his 2012 re-election campaign.

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According to the court of appeal, there has been “fresh evidence” suggesting he may have done so.

Lord Dyson, the second most senior judge in England and Wales, said the new evidence consists of an email that Johnson sent to TfL, demanding the advert pulled down before the 2012 mayoral elections.

The court’s decision overruled an earlier decision by the UK High Court upholding the ban, which is now predicated on a fresh inquiry.

If Johnson loses the case, the ban will be overturned and, according to the court, it would be illegal for TfL to reinstate a new ban.

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