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Christian group challenges ban on gay poster campaign

By David Barrett, Telegraph

Boris Johnson will this week face claims in the High Court that he failed to respect a Christian group’s right to free speech by banning their posters from the side of London buses.

The Mayor of London refused to run the advertisements which promoted the group’s view that homosexuals can be “reoriented” through therapy and prayer.

Mr Johnson said the ads by the Core Issues Trust were offensive to gays, and said they could even spark retaliation against the wider Christian community.

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

Mr Johnson’s role puts him in charge of Transport for London, which is responsible for approving advertising on buses in the city.

On Thursday Dr Mike Davidson, the head of the trust, and his supporters will go to the High Court to claim Mr Johnson’s ban on their poster campaign should be reversed on the grounds that he unlawfully stifled free speech.

They are bringing a judicial review and Dr Davidson is hoping Transport for London (TfL) will be forced to accept the advertisements.

They argue that other advertising campaigns – including Stonewall’s, and campaigns for underwear – have been allowed TfL.

“This is all about being free to talk about these issues,” said Dr Davidson, who himself has a homosexual past, but has been attracted controversy for suggesting gays can become heterosexual through counselling and prayer.

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