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Apr 12 2012

Proud to be former

No voodoo “cure teh gay” ads for London buses after all.

The posters, backed by Anglican Mainstream, read: “Not gay! Post-gay, ex-gay and proud. Get over it!”

The adverts were reportedly booked for two weeks by the Christian group Core Issues to display on vehicles running on five routes in central London, including top tourist destinations such as St Paul’s Cathedral, Oxford Street, Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus.

Strange idea. Imagine posters saying “Not male! Not Canadian! Not tall! Not straight! Post-male, ex-straight and proud. Get over it!”

In other words, it’s strange to think “gay” is something people should be ex-. It’s thinking that they should be getting over.

 

57 comments

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  1. 1
    Andy, uncultured Brit

    Interestingly, while the BBC says this was the work of “Transport chiefs”, the Guardian gives credit to (Conservative) mayor Boris Johnson:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/apr/12/anti-gay-adverts-boris-johnson
    Amusing, given the Guardian is pretty overt in supporting Ken.

  2. 2
    Anthony K

    I can imagine bus placards reading “Not Anglican! Post-Anglican, ex-Anglican and proud. Get over it!”

    As if Anglicanism was just something one does because everyone else is doing it, but then one grows up and becomes an adult.

    So, not like gay at all, despite what this self-styled ‘mainstream’ seems to think.

  3. 3
    'Tis Himself

    I’m of two minds on this one. There’s no doubt the homophobes’ placard is homophobic. However, the placard is being pulled for exactly the same reason as atheist advertising is being pulled, i.e., some people are upset about it.

    Is my dislike of certain advertising ok but is your dislike of other advertising censorship?

  4. 4
    carpenterman

    #3 ‘Tis Himself:
    Yes. My dislike is ok but yours is censorship. Just ask anyone.
    Seriously, I see your point. An opinion shouldn’t be censored because some will find it offensive. There are virtually no ideas that someone won’t be offended by. But if you find an idea offensive, you should have a good argument against it.
    By this measure, the people objecting to these adverts have a good argument. The whole “ex-gay” concept has been widely discredited. The data available pretty much says that if you’re gay, you’re gay. You can accept your nature, or you can fight it, but you’re not going to change it.
    By this reasoning, the Anglican’s posters should not be displayed, not because they’re offensive, but simply because they are a lie. The very definition of false advertising.

  5. 5
    'Tis Himself

    Thanks for the response, carpenterman. You’re right, false advertising should not be allowed.

  6. 6
    Anthony K

    I was mulling over the very same question, ‘Tis.

    Excellent response, carpenterman.

  7. 7
    Upright Ape

    The ads are offensive. But I find the censorship even more offensive.

  8. 8
    San Ban

    Well, if they’re going to actually enforce the ban on false advertising, there go all the religious advertising and “alt-med” advertising and ads for diet pills and hard-on pills and…

    If we’re going to get our knickers in a twist over some ridiculous bigoted propaganda, we should just give up the cause of Reason now!

  9. 9
    James Croft

    “Anglican Mainstream”? Fuck them. Hateful, crazy fringe-group who can see their ship is sinking. Let’s keep tearing holes in their bow.

  10. 10
    CB

    The ads are a response to a Stonewall sponsored bus campaign currently running in London. Those ads read something like ‘Some people are gay. Get over it’. The response ads don’t make much sense without the originals.

  11. 11
    anne

    There’s a good argument that Transport For London shouldn’t be endorsing it. It’s not such terrible censorship. No one is stopping the groups in question putting up their message on church signboards or shop windows or advertising hoardings by the road. But putting it on a bus that everyone has to use gives a false sense of communal legitimacy to the notion that being gay is something to be cured of and to “get over”. That sort of thing gives oxygen to the hatreds that are lurking in pockets of our civilisation. Like racism, homophobia isn’t far beneath the surface, particularly in some fundamentalist religious communities.

    But it does make me uneasy. Recently our buses carried an advertisement that caused offence to many, and which some decried as extremist: “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.”

    I’d argue that the difference is that people don’t choose to be gay, but they can choose not to be theists. A theist would probably disagree that it’s a matter of choice. But even so, it’s hard to see the atheist advertisement encouraging a climate of Christian-bashing as a Saturday night form of entertainment for thuggish young men the way gay-bashing still is.

  12. 12
    Bernard Bumner

    Given that these adverts could be seen as promoting discrimination, there is arguably a duty not to run them. Censorship may be a reasonable price to protect one of the most vilified groups in society, if the cost is to merely prevent the advertisement of an offensive product. Of course, that is very difficult to argue philosophically, and clearly hasn’t worked in this case. (Where the adverts have been seen internationally, rather than just locally on the sides of London buses.)

    The official denial of advertising space certainly sends a political message to both sides, and one that I am generally in favour of.

    The ads are offensive. But I find the censorship even more offensive.

    Censorship is problematic, and I’m personally all for allowing toxic opinions to properly aired and examined, but it isn’t more offensive than the message of the adverts.

    Given the Advertising Policy of TfL, this outcome was entirely foreseeable by Core Issues Trust. I suspect that this was essentially a no-win situation for TfL (after all, answerable to an elected body).

  13. 13
    sailor1031

    Well it is a well known fact that being Canadian is just a lifestyle choice; I am merely being wilfully immoral and perverse by not giving it up and becoming a US citizen – you know, like doG himself.
    Since I am so recalcitrant, I am obviously deserving of condemnation by all decent christian people everywhere for not being “not canadian, post canadian, ex-canadian and proud of it”. However the final phrase I do agree with…..”get over it” (FFS).

  14. 14
    Dianne

    Imagine posters saying “Not male! Not Canadian! Not tall! Not straight! Post-male, ex-straight and proud. Get over it!”

    Actually, almost all of these are more plausible than “ex-gay”. Citizenship is certainly easy enough to change, height changes with age (and whether someone is “tall” or not is a matter of comparison…maybe the ex-Canadian moved to the Netherlands and suddenly found him/herself no longer tall), and gender reassignment surgery is doable (though whether a man who got such surgery but still considered himself male-whatever he was presenting to the outside world-would really have changed his gender is questionable…indeed, “ex-males” who are not transgender are probably the closest analogy to the “ex-gays”: still male but now denying it.)

  15. 15
    maureen.brian

    If Boris had not leapt into the breach then any one of us could have gone to the ASA saying, in effect, “This advert is based on pseudo-science long ago disproved. Please rule that it falls under the dishonest advertising rubric.” Which they would have done – only it would all have taken much longer and cost more for exactly the same result!

    Besides, ‘Tis, there is the purely economic case. A significant part of London’s income from both the arts and tourism is enhanced by the branding of the place as tolerant, diverse and generally cool. On buses essentially run by local government Boris – and I am not his greatest fan – is entitled to protect the value of the brand. But you know that.

  16. 16
    steve oberski

    I can’t express this any better than the Executive Director of Egale Canada, a LGBT human rights organization put in when coming to the defense of a bigoted homophobic christian pastor back in 2005:

    InQueeries
    November 3, 2005

    By Gilles Marchildon
    Freedom for all means freedom for each

    It can be challenging to hear an opposite point of view. When that opinion is vehement and hurtful, it’s even more challenging to defend the right of that opinion to be expressed.

    There are limits, of course, but Pastor Stephen Boissoin has not crossed them – yet.

    Boissoin is the former Executive Director of Concerned Christians Canada Inc. Back in June 2002, a Red Deer, Alberta newspaper published his fiery letter. In it, he described his “war” against making schools safe for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-identified (LGBT) people.

    Boissoin called LGBT people “perverse, self-centered and morally deprived,” and said that “where homosexuality flourishes, all manner of wickedness abounds.”

    The Pastor condemned the “horrendous atrocities such as the aggressive propagation of homo- and bisexuality” as well as the “psychologically and physiologically damaging pro-homosexual literature and guidance in the public school system; all under the fraudulent guise of equal rights.”

    He went on to say that “war has been declared,” calling on readers to “take whatever steps are necessary to reverse the wickedness.” (Click on this short-cut to see the full letter: http://tinyurl.com/dzsg6.)

    The letter is now the subject of a human rights complaint by University of Calgary professor of education Darren Lund. Winner of an Alberta Human Rights Award, Professor Lund is a champion of human rights. His years of work towards making schools safe for everyone are worthy of respect and praise.

    Lund is arguing that under Alberta’s human rights legislation, Boissoin should not be able to make such discriminatory public statements. If the tribunal agrees with Lund, Boissoin could be required to apologize and/or pay compensation.

    Meanwhile, the religious right is rallying around Boissoin, eager to paint him as a martyr for the cause of religious freedom. Concerned Christians is shaking the money tree, including in the U.S. where it received support from the Alliance Defense Fund. Furthermore, a fundraising dinner was held October 29 in a Calgary hotel.

    They are gathering their troops to combat what Boissoin calls the “homosexual machine that has been mercilessly gaining ground in our society since the 1960s.”

    For reasonable people who believe in equality and safety for all, it is easy to condemn Boissoin’s hurtful and inflammatory language. Furthermore, the temptation is strong to want to silence such an angry diatribe which might find an audience of people willing to join his war against equality.

    While it is difficult to support Boissoin’s right to spew his misguided and vitriolic thoughts, support his right, we must.

    If Boissoin was no longer able to share his views, then who might be next in also having their freedom of expression limited. Traditionally, the LGBT community’s freedom has been repressed by society and its laws.

    Plus, it is far better that Boissoin expose his views than have them pushed underground. Under the glaring light of public scrutiny, his ideas will most likely wither and die.

    In fact, his words may serve to increase public education. By more clearly seeing the ugly face of bigotry and prejudice, the need for teaching tolerance in schools becomes obvious.

    http://www.egale.ca/index.asp?lang=E&menu=12&item=1245

  17. 17
    anne

    Defending freedom of speech is way different from plastering bigoted messages on public transport. No one is suggesting the views should be silenced, just that a corporation bus is not an appropriate platform.

  18. 18
    steve oberski

    If the corporation accepts public advertising and if the corporation is in any way funded by public funds then the London Bus corporation is actually one of the most appropriate places for expressing opinions of this or any nature.

  19. 19
    steve oberski

    Bernard Bumner says

    Given that these adverts could be seen as promoting discrimination, there is arguably a duty not to run them.

    I would say there is a duty to vigorously refute the ideas presented in these advertisements.

    Or do you want the London Bus corporation to become the arbiter of what opinions are acceptable or not ?

    Perhaps the corporation should have also refused to run the ‘Some people are gay. Get over it’. ads ?

    Either the corporation accepts all ads that don’t contravene libel/slander laws or contain explicit commands to violence or they get out of the ad business.

  20. 20
    anne

    Today’s advertisement is brought to you from Migration Watch. Tomorrow’s is brought to you from the Campaign for Legalisation of Female Feticide. Seriously, why should Transport for London be the only organisation which can’t pick and choose which adverts to run? Other companies do it all the time. It is not the same as censorship. It’s not cutting down debate – if anything it’s stimulated it. It is simply determining what is appropriate on the bus. The mayor is coming up for election. If people don’t like his decision here they can vote him out.

  21. 21
    Matt Penfold

    The ads are offensive. But I find the censorship even more offensive.

    In the UK it not legal to make false claims in adverts.

    It seems you think lying is ads is just fine though.

  22. 22
    Matt Penfold

    If the corporation accepts public advertising and if the corporation is in any way funded by public funds then the London Bus corporation is actually one of the most appropriate places for expressing opinions of this or any nature.

    Except the claim being made in the ad is not true. In the UK claims made in ads must be true, and the advertisers must be able to provide evidence to support the claims.

    Therefore you are simply wrong.

  23. 23
    Bernard Bumner

    Or do you want the London Bus corporation to become the arbiter of what opinions are acceptable or not ?

    No, I’m saying that TfL is legally bound not to promote discriminatory behaviour. At the very least, running these adverts would leave them open to challenge by the ASA under the CAP Code.

    Possibly they leave themselves open to challenge under Section 404 of the GLA Act 1999. Then there are the various other anti-discrimination instruments.

    Either the corporation accepts all ads that don’t contravene libel/slander laws or contain explicit commands to violence or they get out of the ad business.

    Clearly not. That is the reality of it.

  24. 24
    steve oberski

    @Matt Penfold

    It seems you think lying is ads is just fine though.

    No, the poster already said that he found the ads offensive.

    This would seem to me to be a false dichotomy on your part.

    Just because I think an ad that contains lies should be allowed to run does not mean that I’m fine with lies.

    For example I could vigorously refute those lies in the public marketplace of ideas.

  25. 25
    Matt Penfold

    No, the poster already said that he found the ads offensive.

    And ?

    This would seem to me to be a false dichotomy on your part.

    Only to those like yourself. Since you are ignorant of the relevant law, your opinion is not worth much.

    Just because I think an ad that contains lies should be allowed to run does not mean that I’m fine with lies.

    Yes it does, since you are demanding TfL break the law.

    For example I could vigorously refute those lies in the public marketplace of ideas.

    As you should.

  26. 26
    Kevin

    1. The UK does not have a First Amendment. Different rules in different places.

    2. In the US, the First Amendment guarantees you a voice. It does not guarantee you an audience. Rush Limbaugh is free to voice his insanely wrong-headed opinions — and it’s his radio network’s right to fire his ass if he offends too many people. If they do eventually fire him, his rights would not have been infringed upon one whit. Nor were Howard Stern’s free speech rights infringed on when he was fired from his radio gig. They still have the right to speak. They don’t have a right to the venue that grants them access to an audience.

    So, the issue is not “free speech” but “appropriateness of message to communications vehicle”. Would our TV networks run ads by the neo-Nazis? Would any bus company run an ad that says “kikes and niggers are ruining America”? Of course not. You don’t even have to get that far down the reductio path to see how absurd it is to claim “censorship” in cases like this.

    And yes, if the company has policies in place with regard to religious messaging, then it can refuse to run atheist ads (assuming they don’t run theist ads as well). As long as the policies are in place, and applied across the board.

    Of course, controversies like this are viruses. They spread the message far more effectively than the original communications vehicle. If the bus company had allowed the ads without a whisper, I most certainly would never have heard about it. Nor would 99% of the people discussing it now.

    So, when you want to generate a communications virus, try to make your message as outlandish as possible so it runs afoul of the medium you plan to run it on. So outlandish that the company refuses to run the ads. WAY more people will hear about the controversy.

  27. 27
    steve oberski

    @Matt Penfold

    Except the claim being made in the ad is not true

    History is replete with untrue claims.

    The reason we know that they are untrue is that they were vigorously debated in the public marketplace of ideas.

    Bad ideas did not become known as bad ideas because some gatekeeper decided which ideas were allowed to be presented in public.

  28. 28
    Matt Penfold

    Oh and this:

    No, the poster already said that he found the ads offensive.

    Ophelia is a woman. The name might have given you a clue.

  29. 29
    Matt Penfold

    History is replete with untrue claims.

    True, but not relevant.

    You are not making any sense. Please at try to say something sensible.

  30. 30
    steve oberski

    @Matt Penfold

    I’m massively unconcerned about what UK law says on this matter.

    We have similar laws in Canada and they are just as effective in stifling free debate about important issues.

    If you think that censoring messages of this sort will make the problems of homophobia (in this case) go away your are seriously deluded.

  31. 31
    Matt Penfold

    Oh, as when to comes to the idea you can be “cured” of being gay, the “marketplace of ideas” is not not relevant. What is relevant is the scientific research that shows the idea is not only wrong but harmful.

  32. 32
    steve oberski

    Ophelia is a woman.

    Opheila, why have you been hiding this information from me ?

    Seriously, when I referred to the poster I actually was referring to comment #7 by Upright Ape.

  33. 33
    Matt Penfold

    I’m massively unconcerned about what UK law says on this matter.

    Since the issue is over actions taken by Transport for London and/or the Mayor of London you lack of concern suggest you are not competent to discuss the matter.

    Care to explain why you did not know this involved UK law ?

  34. 34
    Matt Penfold

    Seriously, when I referred to the poster I actually was referring to comment #7 by Upright Ape.

    Well since you did not reference it, how was anyone supposed to know ?

    Please stop being quite such an idiot.

  35. 35
    steve oberski

    Oh, as when to comes to the idea you can be “cured” of being gay, the “marketplace of ideas” is not not relevant. What is relevant is the scientific research that shows the idea is not only wrong but harmful.

    Now you’re doing it right Matt. Refute the ideas, don’t censor them.

  36. 36
    steve oberski

    Care to explain why you did not know this involved UK law ?

    I didn’t say that I didn’t know.

    I claim that the issue transcends any particular law that censors ideas.

  37. 37
    Matt Penfold

    Now you’re doing it right Matt. Refute the ideas, don’t censor them.

    Censor them ?

    Banning untruthful ads is not censorship.

    You have something of a problem I think.

  38. 38
    anne

    Steve, this isn’t about censoring ideas. No one is trying to censor ideas. They are just saying that public transport isn’t an appropriate place to advertise them. There are plenty of other places where these ideas can be discussed, proven or disproven.

  39. 39
    Matt Penfold

    I didn’t say that I didn’t know.

    True, but you clearly don’t and that makes your opinion worthless.

    You really are a rude arsehole. Most people when they realise they are ignorant about subject keep quiet, whereas you simply state your ignorance does not matter.

    Now do you intend to be sensible or not ?

  40. 40
    Matt Penfold

    Steve, this isn’t about censoring ideas. No one is trying

    to censor ideas. They are just saying that public transport isn’t an appropriate place to advertise them. There are plenty of other places where these ideas can be discussed, proven or disproven.

    No, no, no! Steve has evidence that banning an untruthful ad means all discussion is banned. Of course he will not be able to offer any evidence of this, but I suspect he does not think evidence matters much.

  41. 41
    Matt Penfold

    He would also seem to think scientific debate is carried out via the medium of adverts on the sides of busses.

  42. 42
    Matt Penfold

    I wonder of Steve thinks an ad promising a return of 25% on an investment when in reality the return in 2.5% should be allowed.

    Or claims that a pill can result in 7Lb of weight loss a week with no excise or dieting should be allowed.

    Should those ads be allowed Steve ? Should companies be allowed outright lie in ads ?

  43. 43
    steve oberski

    The world in general and London specifically is very lucky to have Matt and Anne vetting the bus ads lest the unwashed masses (but certainly not you or I, no we are all far too smart for that) start to run amok and bring civilization down in flames should they come in contact with a controversial idea too complicated for their tiny little minds to comprehend.

    We are all indeed finally now safe from ponzi investment schemes and dubious weight loss nostrums with this dynamic duo in ceaseless vigilant action.

    It is difficult to tell if the (hopefully) unintended irony of their assurances that they do not seek to censor but just limit the venues for the dissemination of ideas is exceeded by their stunningly condescending view of the limited ability that other people have to evaluate new ideas.

  44. 44
    maureen.brian

    And then, steve oberski, before you disappear up your own rectum in fury at the idea that people can and do articulate the case against you there is a third aspect to this.

    Let’s enumerate them …

    1. The Advertising Standards Agency has a legal duty to ensure that no advertising is based upon untruths or on assertions for which the promoters have no evidence. Right?

    2. The Mayor of London has a legal duty to ensure that public funds, including those which subsidise and direct the transport company’s doings, are not used in a way which is contrary to his duty to promote equality and respect for diversity. That duty is written into the relevant legislation. Right?

    3. Now we come to the more subtle bit. See if you can follow me on the question of copyright and what is known in English & Welsh law as “passing off” – goes back centuries. Taking this in the order in which it happened, Stonewall creates some ads which entirely meet points 1 & 2.

    Some other crew come along with ads for exactly the same location, using the same format, the same font, the same Pantone colour even, but a contrary message. There’s no respect here for Stonewall’s copyright in the original ads and for the moment I put it no stronger than that.

    So are the people, free-riding on the creativity already paid for and trying to counter the original point with lies, doing any different than someone making little blue lozenges out of chalk, cornflour and blue dye and stamping / advertising them under the brand name Pfizer?

    I would argue not though I accept that it might be a couple of years and a dozen lawyers before we got the final answer from the courts.

    I’m not sure I expect you to understand point 3 but if you don’t at least give it a try then you’ll have sunk even further in my estimation.

  45. 45
    Shatterface

    The copyright issue is largely bollocks: the idea that you can’t parody something because they’ve spent money on it is absurd, and Stonewall aren’t above using parody, nor should they be.

    The adverts made false claims about being able to ‘cure’ something that isn’t a disease. It was false advertising, pure and simple, and not covered by free expression.

  46. 46
    steve oberski

    It is interesting but somewhat depressing how parochial the viewpoints of some of the commenters are, as if London were the centre of the universe and how the various local regulatory agencies weigh in on the matter are deemed to be the final word on what I consider to be a global issue of the right to free expression.

    While the patronizing little lectures on arcane matters like Welsh copyright law may have some interest in other forums they have no bearing the matter of free expression and the consistent attempts to stifle it in the name of tolerance and diversity.

    I would no more accede to authority of the ASA to censor homophobic ads in London than I would to the hypothetical case of the Irish blasphemy law (blasphemy is prohibited by the Irish constitution) being used to censor atheists bus ads in say Dublin or of the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) to censor bible study ads on subway cars exhorting children with drug addict parents to pray to Jesus rather than contact the relevant authorities (this is an real example and to the credit of the TTC they did not pull the ads).

    Do you find some of those examples odious and disgusting ?

    Well so do I.

    But it’s easy to protect the expression of ideas you agree with, a lot harder to protect those that you disagree with.

    It’s easy to censor, but it’s hard work to refute ideas.

    So by all means feel free to frame this as a local issue and get so caught up in all the trivial details that you can not see the big picture.

    And if you are really so concerned with adhering to the letter of the law no matter how damaging the unintended consequences are, keep that in mind the next time you weigh in on say the stoning of an adulterous woman in a country where Sharia law is in effect or the jailing or execution of a homosexual in countries that still have extant sodomy laws, which for example were only repealed in England in 1967.

  47. 47
    'Tis Himself

    steve oberski

    It is interesting but somewhat depressing how parochial the viewpoints of some of the commenters are, as if London were the centre of the universe and how the various local regulatory agencies weigh in on the matter are deemed to be the final word on what I consider to be a global issue of the right to free expression.

    The discussion is about specific advertising on London buses. How is it parochial for people to refer to particular laws and regulations applicable to this advertising?

  48. 48
    Bernard Bumner

    It is interesting but somewhat depressing how parochial the viewpoints of some of the commenters are, as if London were the centre of the universe and how the various local regulatory agencies weigh in on the matter are deemed to be the final word on what I consider to be a global issue of the right to free expression.

    I originally brought up the issue that TfL might argue a duty not to run the ads because of the ASA and the GLA Act, not because I generally advocate censorship, but because that is simply the practical reality. TfL is answerable to the GLA, an elected body which is bound to be sensitive to popular opinion (and particularly so given the impending mayoral elections in London).

    All of that is simply context to the story. It is the reason Core Issues could have reasonably anticipated this outcome, and the reason that TfL couln’t really win.

    I also wrote that I am ambivalent on the issue of censorship in this case, even though I support the principle of free expression.

    Censorship may be a reasonable price to protect one of the most vilified groups in society, if the cost is to merely prevent the advertisement of an offensive product… Censorship is problematic, and I’m personally all for allowing toxic opinions to properly aired and examined…

    I feel that the principle cannot necessary be applied absolutely in this case, simply for pragmatic reasons; homophobia is still causing significant harm, and many homosexuals feel actively and systematically persecuted. And not simply by vocal fringe groups, but by the establishment and wider society. In such cases it may be entirely appropriate to concede that special protection is required.

    Truly free expression is routinely curtailed by every jurisdiction on the planet, but in the best cases the restriction of individual rights is carefully weighed against the potential for harm of granting those rights. (And not just the potential harm to the establishment.)

    What is at stake for Core Issues is not the right to expression per se, but the right to use a specific type of public forum. Clearly, they haven’t been silenced, and if anything have found a much wider platform for their views as a result of their adverts being rejected. Nobody has a an absolute right to buy adverts on the side of London Buses; many rules and regulations exist which govern the suitability of materials. Nobody who fails to meet those criteria would be allowed to advertise on those particular spaces.

    What is at stake for for those opposing Core Issues is the well-being of homosexuals in particular.

    The costs to both sides are not equivalent.

    I would feel much less comfortable if this issue wasn’t being widely debated – and with contributions from Core Issues and their supporters. As it is, the opinions of Core Issues are not being systematically suppressed.

    Ideological commitment to free expression is fine, but it doesn’t follow that all and any form of expression in every context must be granted.

  49. 49
    anne

    Great post, Bernard. Thanks.

    What is at stake for for those opposing Core Issues is the well-being of homosexuals in particular.

    The costs to both sides are not equivalent.

    QFT.

    Attacks on LGBT people in the UK are on the rise. It is not a question of being disliked or offended; it’s a question of physical safety. Transport for London is distancing itself from attitudes that treat homosexuality as a disease. Such attitudes are the fertile seas in which the haters thrive.

  50. 50
    Matt Penfold

    I would no more accede to authority of the ASA to censor homophobic ads in London….

    In which case you would find yourself unable to run any advert in any media in any location anywhere in the UK.

    If you just decided to go ahead anyway you could eventually be found in contempt of court, since the ASA can and does have the backing of the courts to enforce its rulings. Being found in contempt can result in imprisonment.

    Now your being in prison would not be especially useful, except that it would spare us all being subjected to your wilful ignorance and self-righteous defence of the dishonest.

  51. 51
    Matt Penfold

    I can only assume that Steve is so against requiring advertisers to be truthful because he is not very truthful himself, and feels some kind of professional sympathy for his fellow liars.

  52. 52
    Drivebyposter

    Fuck the truth. Fuck the law. Fuck the well-being of an actual persecuted minority. The are bus ads we are talking about. If we let gays violate the sanctity of bus ads, what will we grant them next? Life? Dignity? Not on Steve’s watch.

  53. 53
    Drivebyposter

    Also, I wonder if “Steve Oberski is a child molester” bus ads should be run. You know…to put the idea into the market place of ideas. That idea probably needs to be discussed at length by people that don’t know anything about him and are unwilling to listen to dissenting evidence. It really is for the common good of speech and whatnot.

  54. 54
    Matt Penfold

    Fuck the truth. Fuck the law. Fuck the well-being of an actual persecuted minority. The are bus ads we are talking about. If we let gays violate the sanctity of bus ads, what will we grant them next? Life? Dignity? Not on Steve’s watch.

    Well it seems Steve thinks that ads on the sides of buses are how science is reported. After all when it comes to an informed discussion of the scientific findings that homosexuality does not seem to be a matter of choice, and that attempts to “cure” gays are actively harmful the forum of choice is the sides of London buses. Makes perfect sense.

  55. 55
    Drivebyposter

    forum of choice is the sides of London buses. Makes perfect sense.

    Hmm…that is rather brilliant. What if we took the pro-vaccine fight to the freezer? Put pro-vaccine messages on Popsicle sticks.

    Then we can refute psychics on the tags inside of shirts.

  56. 56
    Sarah

    Hee hee. I love you Matt Penfold. You are the definition of internet baddass.

  57. 57
    Keds

    Evidently going through the content numerous will resonate with this because its reality and it’s nice finding a web guy that is telling it publically to read

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