Monday, December 9, 2013

FW: Why Tomorrow's Bus Ads Case Matters






Christian Concern


Tomorrow's Bus Ads Case - Why It Matters

The proposed Core Issues
advert (top) and the Stonewall
advert allowed by TfL (below).

Tomorrow the Court of Appeal will hear the case of Christian charity Core Issues Trust vs Transport for London. It concerns the banning of Advertisements that were due to run on London buses in April 2012. 

This case has big implications for freedom of speech and for important issues affecting gospel witness in our nation. We’ve sent you this email to highlight why the case is so important and ask you to pray.


In April 2012, Transport for London (TfL) banned posters issued by Christian charity Core Issues Trust intended for display on London buses. Part of the case revolves around the role of London Mayor, Boris Johnson, whose re-election campaign was in full swing at the time. It is important to note that:

  • The adverts didn't appear out of the blue. They were created in response to the adverts of homosexual campaign group Stonewall, which TfL did allow to be put on London buses. Stonewall’s ads read: “Some people are gay. Get over it!”. The Core Issues ads read: “Not gay! Ex-gay, post-gay and proud. Get over it!” and were presented in the same style as the Stonewall Ads to make clear that they were a response.
  • The adverts highlighted that there are people in society who do not want to embrace a 'gay identity' despite having feelings of same sex attraction in the present and / or past. Some media outlets mistakenly reported that the posters were advertising ‘gay cure’ therapy.

Why we’ve taken this case on

We’ve provided Core Issues Trust with help and advice since the time that its adverts were banned by TfL. We’ve done this because we consider this case to be extremely important for four main reasons.

1. Freedom of speech

  • When it comes to public debate, there should be a level playing field. Different viewpoints should be allowed. If Stonewall’s message can be displayed on buses, why shouldn’t Core Issues Trust’s be allowed? The adverts highlighted a group that is rarely allowed a voice in mainstream debate since the existence of that group is 'inconvenient' for certain other agendas.
  • A society’s commitment to freedom of speech is often tested at the point where some people find a viewpoint contentious or uncomfortable. This case is a test of our society’s commitment to free speech.

2. Legitimacy of resisting 'gay identity'

  • It suits some groups in society to reinforce the suggestion that sexual attraction is fixed at birth and can’t be changed. But the truth about human sexuality is not as simplistic or uniform as some groups make out.
  • Real people will suffer unnecessary hurt and struggle if the debate is one-sided and their voices are silenced. Those rejecting a ‘gay identity’ in spite of experiencing same-sex attraction need to be recognised and respected rather than being pressured to ‘conform’.

3. The wellbeing of society

  • If the debate remains one-sided, wrong decisions will continue to be made about the shape of family, which will affect future generations.

4. Gospel witness and freedom

  • The notion that ‘sexual identity’ is unchanging and unchallengeable is becoming a big obstacle to speaking, hearing and responding to the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is important to respond to this pressure so that people have the opportunity to hear of the life-giving news of Jesus Christ.

Please pray

As is often the case, we face opponents with far greater resources than we have. Yet, we are not perturbed by this apparent mismatch because we’re convinced that God can do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine. Please pray that He would show us favour and grant us success tomorrow for His glory.

Finally, we would like to thank you for your support. We cannot take on an important case like this without it.








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