Robert Booth reports in the Guardian that Boris Johnson faces legal action over banned anti-gay bus adverts
…The groups behind the “Not gay … and proud” adverts, which were pulled by the London mayor earlier this month, said they were likely to seek a judicial review of the mayor’s decision on the grounds that it breached their rights to freedom of religion and freedom of expression as guaranteed under the European convention on human rights.
Anglican Mainstream and the Core Issues Trust, whose supporters advocate that gay Christians seek counselling and treatment to curb or even reverse homosexual instincts, said it might also take legal action for breach of contract against the advertising company that booked the adverts, CBS Outdoor.
“Since Boris Johnson intervened, there seems to be a much broader issue about freedom of speech at stake and that is weighing heavily upon us,” said the Rev Lynda Rose, a spokeswoman for Anglican Mainstream. “We feel it is not right that people are not able to express legitimate views that are not an incitement to hatred.”
In their latest press release (links below) AM and CIT state:
Anglican Mainstream and Core Issues Trust reject absolutely the accusation of Boris Johnson that they are intolerant, labeling homosexuality a disease. They affirm the right of individuals to seek change, and to reduce homosexual behaviours, feelings and desires, using both pastoral support and counselling, and psychological therapies administered by professionals. They are actively considering an action for judicial review against the Mayor on the basis that his decision was unlawful, and an interference with their rights under Articles 9 and 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, guaranteeing freedom of religion and expression.
And in relation to the letter to The Times of last Saturday the Guardian reports:
The row over the adverts blew up during the government consultation on opening up marriage to same-sex couples, which continues until June, and Anglican Mainstream and the Core Issues Trust are set against the proposals. On Tuesday, they accused liberal bishops of imposing a “neo-pagan worldview” by supporting gay marriage and claiming there should be “a recognition of God’s grace at work in same-sex partnerships”.
On Saturday, a group of Church of England bishops wrote to the Times complaining that recent statements by church leaders had given the mistaken impression that the Anglican church was universally opposed to the extension of civil marriage to same-sex couples.
“The fact there are same-sex couples who want to embrace marriage should be a cause for rejoicing in the Christian church,” said the letter, signed by the Very Rev Jeffrey John, dean of St Albans, the Right Rev Alan Wilson, bishop of Buckingham, and 13 other senior clergy and lay members of the General Synod.
In response, Anglican Mainstream and the Core Issues Trust issued a statement warning that the liberal clergy were trying to “unacceptably redefine Judeo-Christian belief”.
“They do not have the standing either to rewrite or reinterpret the clear teaching of the Bible, which the Church has always understood to prohibit any and all sexual relations outside the union for life of one man and one woman,” said Canon Dr Chris Sugden, executive secretary of Anglican Mainstream.
The press statement mentioned above is headlined Evangelical groups accuse rebel liberal bishops of bully-boy tactics and neo-paganism. It can be found at Anglican Mainstream, at Core Issues Trust and as a PDF.