The ads were funded by conservative Christian groups Anglican Mainstream and The Core Issues Trust and mimicked Stonewall’s ‘Some People Are Gay. Get Over It!’ campaign.
‘Ex-gay’ and ‘post-gay’ are terms used in connection with people who have gone through ‘gay cure’ therapies to change their sexuality. The religious groups aimed to dispute gay charity Stonewall’s contention that people are born gay.
The controversial campaign was cleared by the Advertising Standards Authority and was due to run on main central London bus routes from Monday. Yesterday London Mayor Boris Johnson, who chairs Transport for London (TFL), ordered the ads to be pulled because of their homophobic and offensive nature.
Mr Johnson, who is standing for re-election next month, told the Evening Standard: “London is one of the most tolerant cities in the world and intolerant of intolerance.
“It is clearly offensive to suggest being gay is an illness someone recovers from and I am not prepared to have that suggestion driven around London on our buses.”
However Core Issues’ co-director Mike Davidson criticised the decision to ban the adverts as “censorship”.
He said: “We went through the correct channels and we were encouraged by the bus company to go through their procedures. They okayed it and now it has been pulled.
“I would be interested to know on what basis they have done that.”
He added: “It is of deep concern that there can only be one point of view and that is the point of view of individuals who are determined to push through gay marriage and apparently believe that homosexuality cannot be altered in any possible way.
“That is not a universally held view.
“This is a disturbing development and it is disappointing the UK finds itself in this position.”
Stonewall spokesman Andy Wasley praised the removal of the ads, saying: “We are delighted by TfL’s clear commitment to diversity.
“It is fantastic that no adverts will be promoting voodoo, gay-cure therapy in London.”
A TfL spokeswoman said: “The adverts are not currently running on any London buses and they will not do so.
“This advertisement has just been brought to our attention by our advertising agency, CBSO, and we have decided that it should not run on London’s bus or transport networks.
“We do not believe these specific ads are consistent with TfL’s commitment to a tolerant and inclusive London.”