Sunday, 15 April 2012

FREE SPEECH and OUTRAGE ( 3)

FREE SPEECH and OUTRAGE 3


This three part series is about speech (however egregious) not about actions.


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A British Christian based group known as “Core Issues”  paid for some banner adverts on London 'buses, viz:



The ads were in response to the gay rights group “Stonewall” which ran  banner ads on 'buses  with the words:

“Some people are gay – get over it”.

The “Core Issue” banners never ran.  London’s Mayor Boris Johnson intervened to ban their use on “his buses”.  He stated that London is a tolerant City  (ahem!) -  Evidently his own tolerance is limited.(Never mind, he is running for re-election).

The reason given for the banning of the ads is rooted in the ministry of “Core Issues” about gay people.  Here is how they state it (from their website)

“CORE is a non-profit Christian initiative seeking to support men and women with homosexual issues who voluntarily seek change in sexual preference and expression. It respects the rights of individuals who identify as 'gay' who do not seek change.”

That statement has been described as homophobic, and as “distasteful and divisive”.

Hang in there a bit. “Core Issues” is not rushing into gay bars and coercing gay people in to “straight conversion”.  It is not damning them to hell.

It is simply stating “we will support you if you seek change”.

Gay people have been very fond of saying that human sexuality is experienced in a spectrum - from “entirely gay at one end to entirely straight at the other”.


1. Could it not be that there are men and women who are somewhere in the middle of this spectrum and who have decided that they wish to express their sexuality as heterosexuals?

2. Could it not be construed as an act of love to support them?

3. Are gay people so insecure that they should not be exposed to such an ad?

Those who have known me often, or have read this blog frequently know of my firm and un-equivocal support for gay rights.  I am unswerving in that.

 But I am more than weary of the extreme outrage expressed by those who are opposed to the mission of "Core Issues".

It smacks of an immature hyper-sensitivity.

It plays into the hands of people such as the inept and not very bright former Archbishop of Canterbury  (George Carey),  who falsely assert that Christians are being persecuted in England.

I am also very concerned about Boris Johnson’s decision to censor inoffensive free speech.  If this is censored now, then what could be censored next?

(P.S. I think that both Stonewall and Core Issues could do far better in presenting their cases than by using these simplistic slogans. “Sloganeering” hardly qualifies as thoughtful education).

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