Ken Livingstone has said that the decision of the Mayor’s transport body, Transport for London, to agree advertisements on the side of London buses referring to LGBT people as ‘ex-gay, post-gay and proud’ is a huge mistake that shows how London has retreated from the leading edge on LGBT rights.
The ads are a response to Stonewall’s bus advertising campaign promoting LGBT rights.
It’s reported today that London buses were booked to carry an advertising campaign expected to start next week, asserting the power of therapy to change the sexual orientation of gay people.
Ken Livingstone said: “London is going backwards under a Tory leadership that should have made these advertisements impossible. They promote a falsehood, the homophobic idea of ‘therapy’ to change the sexual orientation of lesbians and gay men. The adverts are insulting to LGBT Londoners and damaging for everyone who believes London is the greatest city in the world because of it’s tolerance.
“It is an indication of the weakness of the Tory political leadership in London that we are now moving backwards when it comes to promoting LGBT equality. I banned ads by the Sandals company on any part of London transport including buses, Tube and black cabs until they dropped their ban on same-sex bookings, yet under a Conservative mayor we now we have actually anti-gay ads being booked on the buses.
“The ads should never have been agreed, full stop.
“If elected I will once more overhaul the rules on advertising on London’s transport system so that this can never happen again, and ensure that we revive the progress we made under Labour after the retreat under a Tory administration.”
In his manifesto Ken Livingstone has promised to restore the Greater London Authority’s participation in the Stonewall Employers Index and establish an annual City Hall Pride reception, both of which were axed by Boris Johnson. He will appoint an LGBT adviser and oppose government-imposed cuts to organisations supporting LGBT London.
One of Boris Johnson’s first acts after election was to cut funding for Soho Pride.Other news from London Assembly Labour