Thinking Anglicans

Bus advert campaign bites the dust before it starts

Updated again Friday morning

The Guardian reports that an attempt to run a bus advertising campaign by Anglican Mainstream and Core Issues Trust has been stopped by the Mayor of London. see Anti-gay adverts on London buses blocked by Boris Johnson.

Boris Johnson, the Conservative mayor, has pulled an “offensive” Christian campaign advertising “gay conversion” which was due to appear on London’s buses next week.

Revelations that adverts asserting the power of therapy to change the sexual orientation of gay people were due to be driven around the capital came as Johnson, who is seeking re-election in May, was due to appear at a mayoral hustings organised by the gay campaigning group Stonewall on Saturday.

The mayor immediately put the wheels in motion to halt the campaign after being alerted to the plans by the Guardian, and made clear that such advertising had no place in a tolerant city.

A clearly angered 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.”

And the earlier story was Christian group books anti-gay ads to appear on buses.

London buses have been booked to carry a Christian advertising campaign expected to start next week, which asserts the power of therapy to change the sexual orientation of gay people.

The full length advert, which will appear on five different routes in the capital, is backed by the Core Issues Trust whose leader, Mike Davies, believes “homoerotic behaviour is sinful”. His charity funds “reparative therapy” for gay Christians who believe that they have homosexual feelings but want to become straight. The campaign is also backed by Anglican Mainstream, an worldwide orthodox Anglican group whose supporters have equated homosexuality with alcoholism.

The advert will say: “Not gay! Post-gay, ex-gay and proud. Get over it!” Post-gay and ex-gay are terms used by Christians and some psychotherapists and psychiatrists to refer to homosexual people who have undergone spiritual or pastoral therapy and, according to an Anglican Mainstream definition, have “now left a homosexual lifestyle [and experienced] an increased emotional and sexual attraction to the opposite biological gender and possibly a reduction in or loss of same-sex attraction.”

Earlier Stonewall’s Ben Summerskill had responded to the announcement of this campaign as follows:

“It’s sad that any self-styled “Christian” group promotes voodoo “gay cure therapy”, which has been discredited by the BACP, the UK’s leading professional body for counselling psychotherapists. Life would be much easier if these organisations just admitted that they don’t like gay people.”

Updates

The Guardian has two more articles:

Does the scientific support cited by anti-gay campaigners add up?

Conservative Christians are becoming more confident in the political arena

Further reports from Press Association, BBC, Independent, Telegraph.

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Pluralist
9 years ago

Interesting that a body that Churchpeople tolerate (in the weak sense), debate with, argue with, that has influence via the international scene (and thus was part of the motivation behind the Covenant) is simply dismissed in the secular world by of all things a Conservative politician. How far the secular world has travelled, how little the so-called mainstream Church has travelled.

JCF
JCF
9 years ago

Good to see that the *Conservative* Mayor is relegating this LIE to the tinfoil flat-earth ash-heap. The world—the world God made and loves—is moving on.

Lapinbizarre/Roger Mortimer
Lapinbizarre/Roger Mortimer
9 years ago

Surprise. Exactly what they expected and intended. Home base fired up in readiness for the Gafcon meeting.

Paul Webb
Paul Webb
9 years ago

How very gracious of Ben Summerskill to describe Anglican Mainstream as a ‘self-styled “Christian” group.’ When I saw the original report in the Grauniad I was horrified enough to report AM to the ASA. The problem I have with AM is the implication in their name that they speak for ‘mainstream’ Anglicans. While this may be true in some parts of the communion, not so here. It makes me angry, ashamed and embarrassed that the name of my denomination has been hijacked by this group. (I suppose they might say the same about TA though?)

Laurence Roberts
Laurence Roberts
9 years ago
Concerned Anglican
Concerned Anglican
9 years ago

Oh dear! Once again Christianity is associated with the negative, lack of affirmation, condemnation and frankly ignorance of scientific facts. No wonder young people are so turned off by the Church if this is its image.

How ironic that it is Boris Johnson who is left to do the decent thing and ban such an offensive advertisement. However, I bet there won’t be so much as a squeak to be heard from the bishops, not least those in and around London.

Laurence Roberts
Laurence Roberts
9 years ago
Davis Mac-Iyalla
Davis Mac-Iyalla
9 years ago

God has risen a human rights disciple even Nigeria, follow the link

http://www.nigerianeye.com/2012/04/nigerian-lawyer-sues-federal-government.html

The Mayor of London, did well by not giving this hate mongers the plate form to spread their poisonous chalice. I think Anglican Mainstream have issues with their sexuality and they are the ones who need healing and repentance.

Martin Reynolds
Martin Reynolds
9 years ago

Oh dear! That was a bus crash we could all see from a post gay way off!
Boris is getting angry a great deal lately, Happily he did not have a meeting with Chris Sugden in the lift ….. yet!

Father Ron Smith
9 years ago

Hurrah for Boris Johnson! Here is one civic leader who has seen through the abusive nature of ‘Mainstream’s campaign, and will not stand for the misuse of London buses in this overt plan of a ‘christian’ organisation to interfere with human rights.

Let’s hope the Church of England hierarchy will get wind of this offensive initiative by conservative Anglicans, and offer the appropriate ‘counselling’ programme to stem their hatred.

John Bassett
John Bassett
9 years ago

I think that the Rabbit is right. This was the result they wanted. They knew from the beginning that the mayor’s office was likely to block it. Now they can claim that they’re persecuted for their faith. The idea that “we’re under attack” seems to be a major theme for the English religious right, and I can only assume that it must be working for them in some way.

M B Andrews
M B Andrews
9 years ago

The bullets are flying, I know, but, even in the cross fire about orientation and marriage, I’d really like to hear a good answer to this serious question. Is it laudable or ridiculous for someone to change their sexual orientation? In the story that prompted this firestorm in Australia, we’ve learnt that Christine Forster (the sister of the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott) was married to a bloke for many years. They now have four children. Presumably, she wasn’t forced into the marriage, so I think we can assume that, in one sense, she would have considered herself heterosexual. But a… Read more »

karen macqueen+_
9 years ago

I have my own “Listening Process” underway for some time now. I am listening currently for the voices of +Rowan Williams and +John Sentamu as they take Anglican Mainstream to task for their lack of respect for science and their homophobia. How about the House of Bishops? Perhaps the Bishop of London? It seems all quiet on the front at the moment…

rjb
rjb
9 years ago

Try as I might, I struggle to be ‘offended’ by the proposed banner – not least because it’s actually pretty bloody obscure when you look at it: “Not gay! Ex-gay, post-gay and proud.” I’m not quite sure what your average Londoner would make of that particular sentence-fragment, and I’m not even sure that adding a verb would make it any more comprehensible. There are other problems, too. ‘Post-gay,’ for example, is a term usually reserved for queer theorists who want to argue that the hetero/homo dichotomy is, like, sooo twentieth century. And isn’t pride supposed to be a sin? I… Read more »

just mulling
just mulling
9 years ago

Even if rabbit is right (and he probably is) in saying that they anticipated this outcome, it is still a poor strategy; the level of disconnect is enormous and one perhaps unintended consequence is that it will severely disadvantage Mainstream and their allies politically as the CNC process gets underway. They needed to look reasonable and credible enough to mount the argument that ‘a strong evangelical is needed to balance the Rowan Williams years’, which otherwise had some weight to it. If this kind politically disastrous PR continues, this issue will become a clear litmus for evangelical candidates and the… Read more »

John
John
9 years ago

I think Johnson’s action was justifiable and right. But, as rjb implies, there are civil liberty issues here and they need to be articulated with some care. It’s important to do this. It’s important to win these fights cleanly and visibly. I haven’t the time to do this right now, but I hope someone in the public sphere will. Johnson’s quote is too ‘short-hand’.

Fr. John Harris-White
Fr. John Harris-White
9 years ago

Congratulations to Boris. Sad that it takes a politician to say what our Archbishops refuse to say, and so many of the diocesans cower behind the ABC.

Let the selectors for our new ABC note those diocesans who are prepared to speak out in favour of toleration. and against the covenant now hopefully drowned in the deepest sea. Those are the Bishops who should be on the short list.

Olivia Jones
Olivia Jones
9 years ago

To M B Andrews: I have never heard anyone pouring vitriol on somebody who used to identify as gay but who has now fallen in love with someone of the opposite sex. Indeed, I’ve known this happen several times in my own group of friends. And I’ve also had friends who used to identify as straight and now identify as gay. Human sexuality is complicated. What people are condemning is the *coercion* which misrepresents the science and tells gay people that they must ‘change’ or be damned, and, further, that such change is possible purely if they want it enough.… Read more »

JeremyP
JeremyP
9 years ago

The Guardian today talks about “the membership of Anglican Mainstream”. I think it is time that this notion was interrogated more closely. Chris Sugden, from the Oxford area, is their only employee. The Revd Lynda Rose is supposed to be their UK spokesman *sic*. She,according to Crockford, is an unbeneficed priest in Oxford, whose entry stops in 1999. She may hold a PTO, but has no connection with any church that is worth Crockford’s time including in her biography. There is Lisa Nolland, who writes from time to time. This is who their website say lead them: http://www.anglican-mainstream.net/anglican-mainstream-who-we-are/ Anglican Mainstream… Read more »

JeremyP
JeremyP
9 years ago

I don’t suppose that anyone minds who Christine or Chris ends up with – there will be painful times for them and their loved ones along the way as they work it out. As someone who “moved” at the age of 50, I would just say that I never identified myself as straight – but a wife and many children were a very effective, if, I may say, unintended cover for my own internal confusions. What is so obnoxious and dangerous about the position that AM take is that it is posited on an ideological opposition to any gay relationships,… Read more »

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
9 years ago

M B Andrews “Is it laudable or ridiculous for someone to change their sexual orientation?” It is neither ridiculous nor laudable, it is impossible. People who can “change” are called bisexuals. Many start off having gay relationships and later in life fall in love with a heterosexual partner. Others, like me, make the journey in the opposite direction. There have been enough gay people who have been destroyed by efforts to change, who have spent years praying and feeling rejected by God, many who have committed suicide. For genuinely gay people change is not possible. We absolutely must understand this… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Martin Reynolds
9 years ago

Yes JeremyP, reminds me of the so called Anglican Communion Institute debacle …. they were supposed to have members too …..

american piskie
american piskie
9 years ago

The Charity Commission link for the registered charity Anglican Mainstream is http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk/Showcharity/RegisterOfCharities/CharityWithoutPartB.aspx?RegisteredCharityNumber=1111739&SubsidiaryNumber=0 This lets you access their accounts and annual report – assertive on public benefit but not explicit. It’s not made clear what relationship this legal body has with the nebulous network described on the webpages mentioned by JeremyP. How can a Steering Committee “steer” the trustees charged with responsibility for the charity? What is clear is that this is not a “membership charity”; the trustees are selected by the board of trustees and that’s it. The link also lets you chase up other charities the trustees are involved… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
9 years ago

“After many years, he tried dating, and now he’s married to a lovely lady about his age. I’ve only met them twice. But they seem happy. Once the guy was homosexual, and now, I presume, he considers himself heterosexual.” – M B Andrews – Your presumption may only be partly right. Have you ever thought that your friend might not actually be sexually involved with his partner? There are many Gays – I know some – who have married conventionally simply because they feel more accepted by society. They may not admit to you that they are not sexually active… Read more »

Andy
Andy
9 years ago

Bizarrely, their mailing address appears to be co-located with a firm of Funeral Directors.

Laurence Roberts
Laurence Roberts
9 years ago

A therapist has been removed by his professional association, due to his involvement in all this.

http://www.exgaywatch.com/wp/2012/04/core-issues-director-mike-davidson-removed-from-professional-association/

Thank goodness for the outspoken condemnation of homophobia by UKCP and Prof Andrew Samuels, Jungian analyst.

Susannah
Susannah
9 years ago

Dear M B Andrews, Your question raises the fair point that human sexuality is complex, and I don’t think anyone would worry if an individual decided that, actually, they were attracted to a different gender than the one they originally liked. What is objectionable is not the Christian willingness to support anyone in the choices they make. What is objectionable is the combination of offer to help with a theology that stigmatises gay sex and treats it as an abomination, as something that leads to hell, as something that’s perverted and corrupt like paedophilia, and that is rooted in these… Read more »

JeremyP
JeremyP
9 years ago

That’s because their offices are located above a funeral director’s premises.

Chris H.
Chris H.
9 years ago

Father Ron, there are a few well known lesbian bloggers around with kids from previous relationships and they don’t call themselves “bi”. Should we force them to? Once a person goes one way or the other, shouldn’t they be able to decide what they are and what to be called? If people who have changed and become lesbian/gay are allowed, then mustn’t one also allow those who go the other way to be allowed to call themselves what they wish?

Bill Dilworth
9 years ago

“After many years, he tried dating, and now he’s married to a lovely lady about his age. I’ve only met them twice. But they seem happy. Once the guy was homosexual, and now, I presume, he considers himself heterosexual.” I don’t know if your friend was bisexual or is now in a platonic relationship, as other commenters have said. Another possibility is that he is gay, but is married (in the full sense of that word) to a woman. It wouldn’t be the first time in history that it’s happened, and “gay man” does not necessarily mean “incapable of falling… Read more »

JCF
JCF
9 years ago

@ Chris H. See the recent brouhaha re (award-winning actress) Cynthia Nixon. She claimed to have “chosen to be gay”, but after a passionate reaction, reconsidered, and restated that she was in fact bisexual, but had chosen to be in a gay relationship. [Note: that doesn’t mean that all “women w/ children” in lesbian relationships are bisexual. Some women (like C Nixon) discover they are *also* attracted to women (and fall in love, and marry a woman). Others, however, discover that, while they went through the motions of a straight relationship (recalling that heterosexuality is still the mandated default, in… Read more »

David Shepherd
9 years ago

Well done, Bill. A lifelong commitment like marriage should run on monogamous DC love, instead of variable on/middle/off AC desires.

Andy
Andy
9 years ago

hmmm, this doesn’t figure…..

A minority group run a series of ads promoting fair treatment, consideration, tolerance, understanding – basically just asking to be treated in an equal & fair manner.

Then another minority group demand the *right* to run ads attacking that group & saying they need to be cured because they’re sick.

Which group did you say claimed to be Christians? Supposed followers of Christ?

Father Ron Smith
9 years ago

Chris H. What we choose to ‘call ourselves’ may, or may not, having anything to do with the reality of our inborn, innate, sexuality. I remember an old saying “To thine own self be true” – even if you can’t to other people. It’s healthier.

Susannah
Susannah
9 years ago

I’d like to mention a different paradigm to the standard “you are attracted to women and that is your permanent nature” or “you are attracted to men and that is your permanent nature”. This implies the sexual motivation and attraction is to the ‘object of the desire’ (specifically women, or specifically men). I’d like to assert a different slant: that sexual response may be triggered by the *dynamic* between a man and a woman. So in this analysis, a woman may not be attracted to “men” as such, but instead may be sexually turned on by a heterosexual dynamic and… Read more »

Bill Dilworth
9 years ago

Tom Robinson is probably the most well-known example of a gay man married to a woman, with whom he has children. It took a while for me to get my head around the idea when I found out about his marriage, but I realized that if I believe that straight men occasionally fall in love with other men (which I absolutely do), it made sense that that particular thoroughfare was a two-way street.

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
8 years ago

Bill,
There have always been people who have been able to switch partners and gone from straight to gay or from gay to straight.

By definition, they are bisexuals, whether they have always known that they can “switch” or whether it is something that they realised later in life. Or maybe something that only developed later in life.

What they are not is gay or straight.

Until we recognise that some people are intrinsically capable of switching and others aren’t we’ll never put this myth of a gay cure to rest.

Peter Ould
8 years ago

I love the way that Erika approaches this. Because *she* has decided that she was always bisexual, *all* people who shift sexuality must therefore also be bisexual. At the same time she condemns Anglican Mainstream for suggesting that *all* people who are gay should be able to consider shifting.

Why can she not get into her head that there are people who at one point were exclusively hetero or homo who then later in life saw their orientation change? Why is there testimony less valid then hers?

Bill Dilworth
8 years ago

Erika, I don’t think bisexuality as an identity is a particularly helpful concept in this context, given that most people fall somewhere on a continuum of sexuality that includes the ability to function sexually with either men or women to *some* extent. If someone is overwhelmingly sexually and romantically attracted to members of their own sex most of their lives but falls in love once with a member of the opposite sex *you* might label them as bisexual; I’d think that a pretty meager sort of bisexuality. Sexual identity, it seems to me, embraces more than all possible sexual combinations.

David Shepherd
8 years ago

If people follow their switchable sexual orientation, they can get married.

How does that person maintain faithful lifelong vs. serial monogamy? Should they deny or follow their change in ‘orientation’?

If it’s followed and such behaviour is approved by LGBT pressure groups, guess what? The much-maligned ‘slippery slope’ argument turns from fallacy to FACT.

Rosemary Hannah
Rosemary Hannah
8 years ago

Right – I have NO IDEA if all people who switch between desiring men and women are bi or not. My own view would be closer to Bill’s but that is actually beside the point. However I know three things. Firstly, that in terms of morality, the good a relationship does, the lessons it teaches, and the health it promotes is not in any way dependent on whether it is between same sex couples or opposite ones. A relationship is good or bad. A relationship fosters personal growth or hinders it. A relationship encourages care for those around the couple… Read more »

David Shepherd
8 years ago

All good points. but they do reduce a switch in orientation to the level of an unwanted desire to be resisted…which I’m sure is the last thing you want to suggest. I’m actually willing to go with the idea that orientations are not fixed, but that means that acting upon them CAN be resisted, as you say, ‘by having a relationship which is strong and fulfilling and by walking away from temptation’. Let me be clear what you are saying, Rosemary. At least, for some, acting upon their switched orientation towards a particular gender can be considered a temptation, rather… Read more »

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
8 years ago

Peter, for me, it’s purely a matter of language. People who have the innate ability to switch between 2 (bi) sexes are bisexual. Those people who cannot do it are completely gay or straight. I don’t much mind what you call it. And I don’t care whether some people can do it throughout their lives and others at particular points in their lives. What is important is to recognise that the vast majority of those identifying as gay or straight could not change even if they wanted to. There have been enough destroyed gay lives for us to be 100%… Read more »

Bill Dilworth
8 years ago

“Firstly, that in terms of morality, the good a relationship does, the lessons it teaches, and the health it promotes is not in any way dependent on whether it is between same sex couples or opposite ones.” Word. “Secondly, straight people, gay people and bi people are very frequently attracted to others with whom they are not in a relationship. All categories manage temptation (or fall into it) in much the same way: by having a relationship which is strong and fulfilling and by walking away from temptation.” Absolutely. Sometimes, ironically, critics of gay people speak and write as if… Read more »

Bill Dilworth
8 years ago

“Until we recognise that some people are intrinsically capable of switching and others aren’t we’ll never put this myth of a gay cure to rest.” Erika, I was thinking about this at church this morning, and I don’t think my position helps maintain the gay cure lie at all. When a person, the pattern of whose sexual/romantic life is overwhelmingly gay, goes to Exodus or its British equivalent, “takes the cure,” and marries someone of the opposite gender, it neither means that they have switched sexual orientation from gay to straight nor (necessarily) that they are and have always been… Read more »

Peter Ould
8 years ago

Rosemary wrote:

Secondly, straight people, gay people and bi people are very frequently attracted to others with whom they are not in a relationship. All categories manage temptation (or fall into it) in much the same way: by having a relationship which is strong and fulfilling and by walking away from temptation.

So single people are incapable of resisting temptation unless they enter into a sexual relationship? How incredibly patronising…

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
8 years ago

Bill “In spite of their protestations, they are still gay, but in a straight relationship.” I think we actually talk about the same thing. I completely agree with you here. That is precisely why I want to distinguish between those who are genuinely capable of switching to another, genuinely emotionally and physically satisfying relationship and those who remain basically gay but find themselves, for various reasons, in a straight relationship, or those who are basically straight but at some point or other experiment with a same sex relationship. I don’t think we need to worry about those who just dabble… Read more »

Bill Dilworth
8 years ago

“So single people are incapable of resisting temptation unless they enter into a sexual relationship? How incredibly patronising…”

I didn’t read Rosemary’s statement to mean any such thing. I thought that what she wrote was at least in partial response to David Shepherd’s concern about monogamy. You aren’t by any chance going out of your way here to paint people who do not agree with you as favoring promiscuity, are you?

DAvid WIlson
DAvid WIlson
8 years ago

Bill/Erica – you are assuming that you actually know for a FACT what God has or has not done in any individual. It is merely your opinion, what you hope is the case or what you think should be the case if you were God – you simply cannot know what God would or would not do. God can actually act without therapy. Peter 30% of the church are single – so Jesus does not feel it unduly burdensome on a Christian. I mean consider the life of an Iranian or Iraq Christian – especially one in jail. There is… Read more »

Rosemary Hannah
Rosemary Hannah
8 years ago

Oh don’t be ridiculous Peter! David was talking about serial monogamy – serial monogamists are not single. Of course people without parters resist temptation all the time. It is a bit harder, because they do not have the support of a fulfilling relationship. Since I have been without one for 22 years, I know a good deal about that.

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