Christian Legal Centre: High Court anti-gay bus ruling is a victory for Christian freedom

PinkNews logo with white background and rainbow corners

The Christian Legal Centre’s Director, Andrea Minichiello Williams, has responded to Friday’s High Court ruling concerning a Transport for London ban on homophobic bus adverts and says it’s a “victory” for Christian freedom.

Mrs Justice Lang, sitting at London’s High Court, declared the ban was lawful as the posters would “cause grave offence” to the gay community and they were perceived to be homophobic.

The posters, which were due 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 charity Stonewall, which said: “Some people are gay. Get over it!”

Whilst deeming it to be lawful, Judge Lang criticised Transport for London (TfL) in the way it took the decision – made in May of last year – to ban the adverts.

Justice Lang ruled that TfL’s process in introducing the ban “was procedurally unfair, in breach of its own procedures and demonstrated a failure to consider the relevant issues”.

She also granted Core Issue Trust, the anti-gay Christian group behind the posters, the right to challenge Friday’s ruling at the Court of Appeal.

ITV News reports the Christian Legal Centre (CLC), which is supporting Core Issues, welcomed the judge’s criticism of TfL.

“Coming on the heels of the ‘BA cross’ judgment in the European Court, this is another important victory for Christian freedoms and a stinging rebuke for Boris Johnson and TfL,” said CLC’s director Andrea Minichiello Williams. “Blatant discrimination will not be tolerated by the courts.”

She continued: “This judgment exposes that bus adverts placed by Stonewall and the British Humanist Association were in clear breach of TfL’s own guidelines yet they were allowed to run, even though they proved to be highly controversial at the time. Then, as soon as a Christian group responds to Stonewall’s provocation and dares to challenge the reigning political orthodoxy, the message is banned.”

She added: “This case demonstrates the huge asymmetry and censorship that characterises public debate at the moment. Some people choose not to act on same-sex attraction. They should not be ostracised for doing so but helped, if that is what they choose. Mike Davidson and Core Issues Trust want to help those who experience same-sex attraction but would prefer to change that.”

Meanwhile, human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has criticised the ruling and said it breaches freedom of speech.

He said: “Free speech is for everyone – even those with whom we disagree.”