Channel 5’s Wright Stuff to debate over Boris banning ‘gay cure’ bus ads

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The Channel 5 morning programme, The Wright Stuff, is to debate over the Mayor of London’s decision to ban an ad campaign promoting ‘gay cure’ therapy, for which he is now facing legal action.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, will face Christian groups in court this week over allegations that he denied their right to free speech by banning an ad campaign which promoted discredited gay cure therapy.

On Thursday, the Channel 5 magazine program on which the panel, and “guests discuss topical issues of the day”, the question will be posed on whether Boris Johnson should have banned the bus adverts.

The show tweeted to ask: “Is Boris Johnson wrong to ban bus posters that imply homosexuality can be cured?”

The advertisement, proposed in May 2012 by the Core Issues Trust and their fellow Christian group Anglican Mainstream, read “Not Gay! Ex-Gay, Post-Gay and Proud. Get over it!”.

The government’s official position on gay cure therapies is that they are harmful and should not be condoned.

Although the ad campaign was passed by the Committee of Advertising Practice, Mr Johnson intervened to pull it before it could run – just days before the Mayoral Election.

At the time of his intervention, Mr Johnson said: “London is one of the most tolerant cities in the world and intolerant of intolerance. It is clearly offensive to suggest that being gay is an illness that someone recovers from and I am not prepared to have that suggestion driven around London on our buses.”

He argued that pulling the campaign was actually in the interest of the Christian groups, as the backlash against them would have been considerable.

Transport for London banned the ad following the Mayor’s intervention.

On the programme, pannelists Lowri Turner and athlete Iwan Thomas will debate over the question, and will be joined by Emmerdale actor Dominic Brunt.

In 2010, Emmerdale actor Dominic Brunt said that a gay storyline on the soap was unique because the character hated homosexuality. Brunt, who plays Paddy Kirk, was discussing the storyline around Aaron Livesey, played by Danny Miller.

Stonewall’s “Some people are gay. Get over it!” adverts were placed on around 1,000 buses in London in 2012.

Last November, a Christian driver refused to cover a route between Rotherham and Sheffield because the bus sported the Stonewall ad, leaving passengers temporarily stranded.