(Photo: (c) Transport for London 2005)
Transport officials in the city of London, England, have decided not to allow a Christian group that believes homosexuals can change their sexual orientation to post its new advertisement on the city's buses.
The advertisement was created by Core Issues Trusts, a ministry that helps homosexuals who are voluntarily seeking to change their sexual preference, and was also supported by Anglican Mainstream, a community within the Anglican Communion dedicated to upholding biblical truth.
The ad, which said, "Not gay! Post-gay, ex-gay and proud. Get over it!" was scheduled to run for two weeks beginning Monday before it was announced that it would not be shown at all. In appearance, the ad looks very similar to one created by Stonewall, a pro-gay-rights organization, that recently appeared on the city's buses and said, "Some people are gay. Get over it!"
The ad created by Core Issues was deemed acceptable by both the Advertising Standards Authority and the Committee of Advertising Practice before it was turned down by Transport for London (TFL), which is chaired by London Mayor Boris Johnson. A spokesperson for TFL told The Christian Post in an email statement on Friday why the authority denied the group's ad.
"This advertisement was brought to our attention yesterday afternoon by our advertising agency, [CBS Outdoor], and we have decided that it should not run on London's bus or transport networks. We do not believe that these specific ads are consistent with TFL's commitment to a tolerant and inclusive London," said the spokesperson. "The adverts are not currently running on any London Buses and they will not do so."
Mike Davidson, co-director of Core Issues, told The Associated Press that his organization is being censored and they did everything they were supposed to do in order to book the ads.
"It is of deep concern that there can only be one point of view and that is the point of view of individuals who are determined to push through gay marriage and apparently believe that homosexuality cannot be altered in any possible way," Davidson told AP. "This is a disturbing development."
In a nearly prophetic column, which was completed about ten minutes before Johnson made the announcement that the ad wouldn't run, Tom Chivers, the assistant comment editor for The Telegraph, encouraged gay rights activists to allow the ad to go up as planned.
"Seriously. Don't ban them. Ugly though these ads be, we don't get to tell people what to think," wrote Chivers.
Chivers, who is clearly opposed to the beliefs held by Core Issues, argued that the ads alone would not bring the Christian organization nearly as much attention as banning them would. It seems he was right.