The judge said: “In order to give effect to the primary right of freedom of expression in a democratic society, those who wish to promote an offensive or controversial message should be entitled to do so. In my view, it is proportionate to ask those people to express those views in a way other than by advertising on buses in a major city. Posters, leaflets, articles, meetings and the internet all provide an alternative vehicle for expression of these views.”
Read The Times here (£)
The Times first leader comments:
The choice made by the Mayor was instructive. He had allowed an earlier Stonewall poster to appear, reading "Some people are gay. Get over it!." This was just as offensive to many people, but it avoided upsetting metropolitan received opinion. It therefore required little courage to permit it. Mr Johnson acted only when mainstream pressure made action easy….As the bus controversy has shown, when there is a strong political consensus it is hard for minority opinion to hold firm…. A liberal free society ensures that agreement among the good and the great does not become a conspiracy of silence…The right to be an irritant is crucial."
Read here (£)
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