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London: Christian group tells High Court ‘gay cure’ bus advert ban threatens democracy

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  1. The UNchristian Institute are really pushing this ‘free speech’ angle. I do hope that TfL make it clear that the ad is untrue aswell as offensive. People are born with their sexuality and the ad in question doesn’t make that clear at all. It’s implying that being gay is a choice.

    It’s not – and this matters. The ‘christian’ propaganda machine stretching from the US has a few very specific angles of attack, and these must be debunked for the rubbish they are.

    You can’t be ‘ex-gay’ any more than you can be ‘ex-blue-eyed’.

  2. I can, like all of us, trace my ancestors back to the rift valley in Africa. How would it sound if I wanted to publicise this – “Not Black, Ex-Black and Proud!” – with democracy.

    i think this example should suffice to see why this is advertisement was wrong.

  3. casparthegood 28 Feb 2013, 3:56pm

    If they are gullible enough to believe their own propaganda then I have some nice bridges and monuments around London they might like to purchase at knock down rates. Buyer collects naturally.:-)

  4. essexgirlbecky 28 Feb 2013, 4:00pm

    Some people have wacky ideas that they can cure ‘gayness’. And In a free society the Core Issues Trust must be entitled to their view. Their views are no more or less ludicrous than the misplaced belief that, in the face of compelling evidence to the contrary, the Earth is flat.

    The CIT has less credibility than the flat earth society and these people deserve to be ridiculed. So to those who claimed to be offended by their “Not Gay! Ex-Gay, Post-Gay and Proud. Get over it!” advert, I’m tempted to say; “Some people are incredibly stupid. Get over it!”

    I firmly believe that a ban on the CIT advert because it offends is misconceived. However that is not to say that there are no grounds at a;; for banning it. Since the CIT cannot possibly provide impirical evidence that gay people “can be ‘reoriented’ through therapy and prayer” it seems to me that CIT are advertising a service in breach of trading standards legislation. Banning the ad on any other grounds does them too much credit!

    1. Some people believe in homeopathy, but they’re not allowed to make claims for its efficacy in advertising.

      1. essexgirlbecky 28 Feb 2013, 4:57pm

        That’s precisely my point. That’s why this ad should be banned.

        1. Yes I know. Just supporting your comment.

  5. Marcwebbo3 28 Feb 2013, 4:03pm

    Anybody with an ounce of intelligence knows you cannot change your sexuality….if there is such a thing as a ‘gay cure’ there should be one for a hetro one too…its all ridiculous and just more rubbish from the religious lot that living in cloud cuckooland but spreading poison

  6. Robert in S. Kensington 28 Feb 2013, 4:08pm

    Alan Chambers, president of Exodus International, a leading ‘ex-gay’ scam organisation said in July 2012:

    “For someone to put out a shingle and say, ‘I can cure homosexuality’ — that to me is as bizarre as someone saying they can cure any other common temptation or struggle that anyone faces on Planet Earth.”

    In an interview with an American tv channel, Chambers stated that he always believed the catchphrase, “Pray away the gay”, to be a lazy stereotype and one that he never used, as it invalidates the nature of the complex issue surrounding homosexuality. Chambers went on to tell the host (Michael Smerconish), that he has same-sex attraction and for anyone to say he does not have temptations, or that he could never be tempted, or does not have same-sex attraction is not true.

  7. I am not allowed to sell a magic rock that will get you a job, mediums are obliged to flag their adverts “for entertainment purposes” and they are not allowed to promote their asinine hocus pocus as a “cure” for anything.

    These are well-established concepts in common law and it has nothing to do with free speech and everything to do with protecting the gullible from predation.

    For this case to win, a hideous precedent would be set – It doesn’t compute to them at all that their magical crap is not the only magical crap in the world with a vested interest in this. It would become perfectly legal to exploit and that is never going to be all right in the eyes of the law.

    As for the man himself – You’re not ex-gay, you are bisexual (a term that would be applied in the “reasonable man” test for someone who can go both ways). And to think that one man’s ridiculous anecdote is evidence of anything is a pathetic joke. Shame on the bloody lawyers who are wasting money on this junk.

    1. Nawal Husnoo 28 Feb 2013, 5:25pm

      It turns out they don’t even pretend to cure homosexuality anymore. They just claim they go beyond using the word, i.e. they don’t want to use the word “gay”. And their advert clearly suggests they can cure it, probably with the intention of misleading vulnerable people.

      It should have read “NOT GAY. EX-GAY WITH HOMOSEXUAL FEELINGS.”

      From their website:

      “Our adverts attested to the reality for many individuals who experience homosexual feelings but don’t identify with the socio-political identity of “Gay” – a late, twentieth century political construction.”

      (http://www.core-issues.org/index.php?page=bus-case)

  8. Nawal Husnoo 28 Feb 2013, 4:33pm

    It should have read “NOT GAY. EX-GAY WITH HOMOSEXUAL FEELINGS.”

    From their website:

    “Our adverts attested to the reality for many individuals who experience homosexual feelings but don’t identify with the socio-political identity of “Gay” – a late, twentieth century political construction.”

    (http://www.core-issues.org/index.php?page=bus-case)

  9. Jason Feather 28 Feb 2013, 4:33pm

    Free speech shouldn’t include the right to make outright lies or hate speech & these adverts are both. You cannot be cured of homosexuality, you can pretend you have been & maybe even convince yourself but it doesn’t make it a fact at least according to all well know and respected scientific & psychological organisations. Left handed people used to have to pretend to be right handed but it didn’t change the fact they were left handed.

    1. Nawal Husnoo 28 Feb 2013, 4:36pm

      It turns out they don’t even pretend to cure homosexuality anymore. They just claim they go beyond using the word, i.e. they don’t want to use the word “gay”. And their advert clearly suggests they can cure it, probably with the intention of misleading vulnerable people.

      It should have read “NOT GAY. EX-GAY WITH HOMOSEXUAL FEELINGS.”

      From their website:

      “Our adverts attested to the reality for many individuals who experience homosexual feelings but don’t identify with the socio-political identity of “Gay” – a late, twentieth century political construction.”

      (http://www.core-issues.org/index.php?page=bus-case)

  10. Guglielmo Marinaro 28 Feb 2013, 4:34pm

    This crank group Core Issues has a perfect right to free speech. That does NOT mean, however, that they have a right to make other people or organizations assist them in propagating their claims. If Boris decides that they are not going to use the London buses to peddle their quack “therapy”, then he is absolutely within his rights as mayor and is showing responsibility. Even in these enlightened times, there are self-doubting young gay people who are still struggling to come to terms with their natural sexuality. Do we want adverts being driven round London encouraging them to get sucked into this kind of hocus-pocus? I think not.

  11. Oh F*** Off will you!!! There are certain times when freedom of speech is downright abused and should be curtailed. Whilst these groups can complain that they’re losing their free speech, their actions are also inciting hatred and promoting false ideas which have been known to have dire consequences for a number of individuals. I can’t wait till Boris wipes the smile of their faces. They need to be sectioned.

    1. “I can’t wait till Boris wipes the smile of their faces. They need to be sectioned”

      You cant be surely championing Boris as a champion of gay rights surely? I dont know where people get this myth from, the guy is a fraud and a chameleon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3PJm1n90og

      1. Well if he wasn’t before, having to fight those crazies will make him more pro gay.

  12. There is NOTHING democratic about peddling fake ‘medicine’ which has been labelled dangerous and destructive by every reputable organisation.

  13. very interesting.

    in that case, the same argument could be made against those fighting against marriage equality… they are trying to impose their minority opinion on a majority, and are thus threatening democracy.

    I bet that wouldn’t go over too well if anyone tried it on THEM.

  14. In the (slightly tweeked) words of Mandy Rice Davis,

    ‘Well they would say that, wouldn’t they’.

  15. As an aside, isn’t it also illegal to imitate the style of another advertising campaign, or does that only apply if there’s a trademark?

  16. This ad doesn’t refer to conversion therapy per se:- there are many “ex-gay” people now in loving heterosexual relationships.

    We can’t just silence those we don’t agree with and who’ve a right to be heard just as much as anybody else, in effect saying “we don’t like you so shut up!”

    Stonewall’s ad was also brash and confrontational to Christians and many non-gay-identified people, yet Ben Summerskill at least has the foresight to defend the Christian ad’s right to appear on buses.

    Sexuality is fluid and in an enllightened age would transcend simplistic labels like gay, bi, straight.

    We choose to embrace an identity/sensibility/lifestyle known as “gay” which automatically places us in a minority group that suffers prejudice.

    But that doesn’t give us the right to want to label everyone with a fluid sexuality as gay when they don’t define themselves thus.

    The gay lobby should just chill out instead of rushing to shut down all debate any time their toes are trodden on.

    1. Nawal Husnoo 28 Feb 2013, 5:23pm

      Exactly. I think the only request is that the advert should read “NOT GAY. EX-GAY WITH HOMOSEXUAL FEELINGS.”

      Otherwise it is deliberately misleading, and clearly false advertising. But it should not be banned.

      From their website:

      “Our adverts attested to the reality for many individuals who experience homosexual feelings but don’t identify with the socio-political identity of “Gay” – a late, twentieth century political construction.”

      (http://www.core-issues.org/index.php?page=bus-case)

    2. Except the vast majority of people DO fall into easily understood categories. That’s why the categories persist. “Gay” is not a lifestyle, it’s an inborn sexual orientaiton – as much a fact of biology as height and nose shape.

      There is no such thing as an “ex-gay”, in the same sense there is no such thing as an “ex-ginger”. You can dye your hair or pretend to be heterosexual all you like, you’re still living a lie. It might be a harmless little lie, but lie it most certainly is.

      And, in the case of suggesting that sexuality can be changed, the lie is not harmless but deeply and fatally pernicious. There is no “ex-ginger” industry for a reason, and likewise no “ex-black” or “ex-blue-eyed” industry. The very existence of these people with their sickening promotion of falsehoods cannot be tolerated, just as we would not tolerate people promoting cosmetic amputation of limbs or claiming that cancer can be cured with vitamin pills.

      1. @VP – ““Gay” is not a lifestyle, it’s an inborn sexual orientaiton”

        No it is not.

        “Gay” is how someone defines themselves if they choose to make their sexuality an outward expression of who they are:- be it a lifestyle, a sensibility, indeed whatever it is that is an expression of our sexuality and which our inbuilt “gaydars” subconsciously and instantly identify and detect in one another.

        You would, however, be correct to say that homosexuality is an inborn sexual orientation.

        The word “gay” was borrowed relatively late into the 20th Century and never existed as a construct before then.

        In some strange, perverse way, the gay lobby who’ve relentlessly pushed “gay” as a one-size-fits-all for anyone with same sex attraction have also effectively outlawed “homosexual”, and jump on anyone who dares use this accurate term to describe someone who is predominantly or exclusively same-sex attracted but who does not identify as gay.

        Clearly, they want to have their cake and eat it too.

        1. I don’t think that’s the issue here. The issue is whether it is harmful or not – not whether or not the term “gay” means a sexual attraction or an adoption of a lifestyle or whatever else. The harm is to those who struggle with the realisation that they are different and that (parts of) society has a negative view of them. These ads target those people at a vulnerable time, and rather than saying “you’re normal, don’t worry, the negative view is wrong” it says “you’re abnormal, and right to be worried, but we can change you so you are no longer viewed negatively”. Anything that reinforces the idea that the person’s sexuality (or as a consequence their association with others who share that sexuality) is an inherently negative thing is, to me, a “harmful message” from which vulnerable people ought to be protected.

      2. Spanner1960 28 Feb 2013, 10:58pm

        I go with Sam B on this one.

        Many people have defined sexuality as a sliding scale, Kinsey being the main proponent; and there are always going to be those that sit on the fence and wobble. It only takes a push from the likes of these people to turn a ‘gay’ man into a ‘straight’ one. Equally, I am sure it is quite possible to do the opposite.

        As the old joke goes,
        “What’s the difference between straight and bisexual?”
        A: “About six pints of Stella”

    3. Guglielmo Marinaro 28 Feb 2013, 5:45pm

      “Sexuality is fluid.” No, it isn’t. SOME people’s sexuality is fluid. Most people’s, and certainly most MEN’S, is not.

      When men’s sexual relationships break up, which unfortunately happens quite often, they almost invariably form, or attempt to form, relationships of the same type as before, heterosexual or homosexual, as the case may be. The contrary does occasionally happen, but when it does, unless the men involved were previously known to be bi-sexual, those who know them well are surprised and speculate as to whether they have “turned” or were always “really” straight/gay. If sexuality IN GENERAL were fluid, changes of this kind would be an utterly humdrum occurrence and would occasion no more surprise than someone changing their job or deciding to move house.

      1. @Guglielmo – “SOME people’s sexuality is fluid. Most people’s, and certainly most MEN’S, is not.”

        Correct, to an extent, in that most men do assume their sexuality to be fixed, not fluid.

        Until, for example, “straight” men are forced into a situation or environment in which deep-rooted and previously unobserved or confronted feelings rise to the surface.

        Such as becoming a member of an all male environment such as boarding schools,prisons, army and navy bases…

        Identifying as gay comes with a lifestyle that guarantees an endless procession of sexual partners to the extent that none of us are in the position to ever consider how we might respond were we suddenly to be thrown into an environment in which our only contact for months on end were women.

        Indeed I know of one such “gay” guy who ended up having several female sexual partners.

        I do think we limit ourselves when we define as gay, because we automatically close ourselves off to all possibilities that might otherwise arise.

        1. Oh come now…this is the same silliness that theological debates end up boiling down to. I consider myself an atheist, but obviously I can’t be any more certain of the non existence of God than the theists can be of the contrary, so technically I’m an agnostic. In fact, most people would technically be an agnostic. But if everyone is an agnostic because very few people can claim to be “certain” of anything at all (if we’re getting philospohical) then being an “agnostic” actually means nothing at all so the term might as well not exist. It just means “people”. Which is lovely, but not very helpful for explaining your position to someone. So if I choose to identify as gay, on the basis that I am attracted to men, it doesn’t mean I’m discounting the possibility of waking up one day attracted to women, goats or furniture, just that I consider it highly unlikely. I’m an atheist gay, but also a “person person”. One term’s just more useful than the other for describing my characteristics.

    4. Spanner1960 28 Feb 2013, 11:00pm

      I go with Sam B on this one.

      Many people have defined sexuality as a sliding scale, Kinsey being the main proponent; and there are always going to be those that sit on the fence and wobble. It only takes a push from the likes of these people to turn a ‘gay’ man into a ‘straight’ one. Equally, I am sure it is quite possible to do the opposite.

      As the old joke goes,
      “What’s the difference between straight and bisexual?”
      A: “About six pints of Stella”

  17. The core issue here is the potential harm that these so called therapy’s can cause. The damage that reparative therapy can cause is well known by the psychiatric profession. They describe reparative therapy as dangerous. You can not cure someone of a disease that does not exist.

    In a position paper released May 17, 2012, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) stated that services that aim to “cure” people with a non-heterosexual sexual orientation lack medical justification and represent a serious threat to the health and well-being of affected people, and noted that there is a professional consensus that homosexuality is a natural variation of human sexuality and cannot be regarded as a pathological condition.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 28 Feb 2013, 10:43pm

      The day that there is such a thing as ex-straight, then perhaps there may be some credibility, but the fact of the matter is, there is no such thing. People can pretend to have become straight all they want and attempt to lead a heterosexual life, sometimes a life of abstinence, but you can’t ever change your innate orientation, no more than you can change the colour of your eyes or skin colour. Some of us who grew up before 1967 in the UK when homosexuality was illegal would often pretend we were straight and associated with females for fear of being discovered and discriminated against, but it didn’t change who we were or are. Some of us even had girlfriends as I did, nothing sexual either but society was none the wiser. The success rate of the ex-gay movement has been rather dismal. They are nothing more than scam artists, out to make a quick quid on the vulnerabilities and insecurities of people who can’t come to terms with their true identity.

  18. GulliverUK 28 Feb 2013, 5:56pm

    People who go about spreading racism, sexism, homophobia are a threat to national security because their lies and bigotry whip up fear of protected groups based on difference, encouraging division and can lead to acts of violence and even rioting.

    In this case the dying gasp of a discredited pseudo-science based on religious zealotry, which most Christians don’t support, and which has been scientifically-dis proven, is making one last attempt to whip up hatred against us before the practice is officially banned. It’s already a matter of gross-misconduct for any member of a recognised psychological association in the UK to recommend it – and some individuals have already had their accreditation removed – which is require in order to practice. If a psychologist said that a black person should consider skin bleaching to fit in with white people do they think that person wouldn’t have their accreditation removed?

    ALL ex-gay programmes are run by religious organisations.

  19. Cardinal Capone 28 Feb 2013, 7:35pm

    If you tried to put out this ad with the word “gay” replaced by any religion, it would also be banned for being offensive. QED.

  20. Perhaps its time that some Same Sex Attraction people got over themselves and stopped trying to push the pendulum too far the other way by becoming dictatorial of those who don’t agree. You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

    If people decide that the orientation they have is not good for them, who’s to say that they shouldn’t try to overcome it, so long as there’s no coercion?

    1. Nawal Husnoo 28 Feb 2013, 10:49pm

      Exactly. I think the only request is that the advert should read “NOT GAY. EX-GAY WITH HOMOSEXUAL FEELINGS.”

      Otherwise it is deliberately misleading, and clearly false advertising. But it should not be banned.

      From their website:

      “Our adverts attested to the reality for many individuals who experience homosexual feelings but don’t identify with the socio-political identity of “Gay” – a late, twentieth century political construction.”

      (http://www.core-issues.org/index.php?page=bus-case)

  21. Charlie Tipple 28 Feb 2013, 10:06pm

    They’re absolutely right.

    ‘Ex gay, post gay and proud’ makes no claims about the efficacy of reparative therapy. It merely affirms the fact that there are people out there who once identified as gay, but, for whatever reason, no longer do so. The fact that some people find that threatening is no reason to silence their voices.

    1. Nawal Husnoo 28 Feb 2013, 10:50pm

      Exactly. I think the only request is that the advert should read “NOT GAY. EX-GAY WITH HOMOSEXUAL FEELINGS.”

      Otherwise it is deliberately misleading, and clearly false advertising. But it should not be banned.

      The only thing “ex-gay” about them is they don’t want to be called gay.

      From their website:

      “Our adverts attested to the reality for many individuals who experience homosexual feelings but don’t identify with the socio-political identity of “Gay” – a late, twentieth century political construction.”

      (http://www.core-issues.org/index.php?page=bus-case)

      1. Spanner1960 28 Feb 2013, 11:01pm

        We heard you the first time.
        Shut the fuck up.

    2. I’m with you guys.

      the fact your posts has soon gone past the 10 negative comments stage and no longer highlighted is a great shame if folk here who are keen to further LBGT rights are not prepared for honest challenge and reasoned debate.

  22. Spanner1960 28 Feb 2013, 10:53pm

    You just know this is all hot air and chest thumping. Any court in the land is going to take one look at this and throw it out on its arse.

    The Core Issues Trust is trying to justify its existence and affirm its legitimacy as a bona fide medical establishment, in just the same way as homoeopaths, crystal healers, spiritual guides and witch doctors.

    And just like them, they will fail miserably.

  23. Consider for a moment the public reaction if there were posters on the side of buses advertising: a cure for Judaism; a cure for Islam; a cure for Catholicism; a cure for Protestantism; a cure for non-white skin. We all know what the reaction would be.

    The Nazis thought they had a ‘cure’ and the ‘gay cure therapists’ are no different – their therapy rooms are the modern day gas chambers – so they should be treated as being neo-Nazis. Their ‘cure’ is to eradicate homosexuals – the same objective that the Nazis had.

    They should be outlawed just as any other so-called ‘therapists’ would be outlawed for promoting a ‘cure’ for any other community in society.

  24. Ex gay Therapy kills LGBT people.

  25. Can I introduce this into evidence?

    1. ( Just to be clear…I am 100% with Bill Mayer perspective on this one! )

  26. Sure no one is against freedom of speech what they need to do is to get the gays that have made covenants with their loved ones and then abandonned them on the “cured” wagon. FYI the Christian group need to re study the bible and see exactly what it is God said was depravity ( give you a hint thicko – see Genesis – 3!)

  27. Some people are gay, get over it ;
    A charity trying to promote tolerance and inclusion.
    Some people are not gay, ex gay or post gay and proud!;
    A religious group trying to promote intolerance and segregation.

    This is a clear case of what is right and what is wrong.

  28. Greg Haislip 26 Mar 2013, 12:42pm

    I used to be addicted to men, but 7 years ago Jesus set me FREE! (YouTube video) I am now free from the sin of homosexuality. Marriage is between 1 man and 1 woman according to the King James Bible (Genesis 2:24) December 19, 2010 I married a beautiful woman of God. FREE AT LAST FREE AT LAST, THANK GOD ALMIGHTY I’M FREE AT LAST!!!! JESUS IS LORD!!
    I have NOT had ex-gay therapy, unless you consider Jesus my Therapist.

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