Homophobic Bus Ads … It is offensive, the claims are wrong, but they should not be banned? No.


A group of Christian nuts in the UK called the Core Issues Trust believe that “homoerotic behaviour is sinful” and also claim  you can cure homosexual urges; pray the gay away, etc. It is a daft claim, you can’t, both the American Psychiatric Association and also the UK’s Royal College of Psychiatrists confirm that. These folks will offer cases where they claim cures, but these are just examples of willpower, wishful thinking and repression. A 2001 paper by Robert Spitzer suggested otherwise, but this year he retracted its findings.

What has now happened is … as reported by the Guardian … political censorship …

The mayor of LondonBoris Johnson, intervened to prevent a Christian advertising campaign from promoting the idea that gay people can be converted to heterosexuality.

Just days before the posters were due to appear on buses in the capital, Johnson ordered his transport chiefs to pull the adverts booked by two conservative Anglican groups following outrage among gay campaigners and politicians saying that they were homophobic.

The campaign was also backed by Anglican Mainstream, (insert face-palm here), and as for the advert itself, it was going to say: “Not gay! Post-gay, ex-gay and proud. Get over it!”. Commenting on his ban, 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.”

His rival in the coming election, Ken Livingstone, backed this stance and said …

“London is going backwards under a Tory leadership that should have made these advertisements impossible.

“They promote a falsehood, the homophobic idea of ‘therapy’ to change the sexual orientation of lesbians and gay men.”

I’ve already said it … the ad is both offensive and also making factually wrong claims, the concept of curing gayness is as meaningful as curing being male or being Irish, so what is going on here? well you might like to check out some scientific research on the issue …

Yep … those findings provide practical evidence to support the psychoanalytic theory that the fear, anxiety, and aversion that some seemingly heterosexual people hold toward gays and lesbians can grow out of their own repressed same-sex desires.

So should the ads be banned? I do not agree with them, they are factually wrong, so there is indeed a strong temptation to go with the political tide … and yet … and yet … how often do I bemoan the times that views I agree with are censored because they are deemed offensive, so “No”, they should not be censored, being offensive is no excuse for the suppression of free speech. In fact, it is also perhaps best if they are not censored, because letting the ads run means they run and get ignored, but banning them gives these nutters an un-dreamt degree of national publicity.

Then again, Tom Chivers over in the Telegraph, does suggest they should be banned, not for the offensiveness of the ads, but rather for their bloody annoying and completely unwarranted use of  the exclamation mark … seriously!! … Yea! really!.

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