Christian News from Scotland

News stories from Scotland and beyond

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Gay Police Attack Christians

A very nasty advert, submitted by the Gay Police Associaion and published in the Diversity supplement of The Independent newspaper on Thursday 29th June 2006, accuses Christians of bloodshed.

Click here to view a larger image of this advert

This virulently anti-Christian advert was placed by the Gay Police Association (GPA).

The grossly offensive and wholly unsubstantiated message of the ad is that Bible believers are causing an explosion of violent attacks on homosexuals, and that the bloodshed has to stop.

The advert plainly implies that Christians are responsible for violence against homosexuals. But violence or abusive behaviour towards any person – homosexual or otherwise - is totally incompatible with the Christian faith. A violent person cannot be a Bible-believing Christian.

The advert stereotypes Christians as violent and hateful people. Citizen's of the United Kingdom need to be concerned because the Police are there to protect our liberty, yet an officially recognised Police group is parodying Bible-believers as violent thugs.

Statistics - or Lies ?

The advert refers to a 74% increase in ‘homophobic incidents’ reported to the GPA. Earlier this year the GPA announced that telephone calls about “faith-based homophobia” made to its helpline had increased from 8 to 14 in one year. Maybe this is where the 74% in the advert comes from. Certainly this is not an official figure.

What is a Homophobic Incident ?

A ‘homophobic incident’ is not the same thing as a crime. It is an administrative record of a complaint to the police (not the GPA). The technical definition of a ‘homophobic incident’ given by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) for England and Wales is “Any incident which is perceived to be homophobic by the victim or any other person.” So merely saying that homosexuality is wrong could constitute an incident if someone perceives it to be ‘homophobic’.

This has happened to the Bishop of Chester, Phillip Jenson (Dean of Sydney Cathedral), Joe & Helen Roberts and Lynette Burrows. It seems they were all thought to be “perpetrators” of a "homophobic incident". None of them committed any crime. All believe that homosexual practice is morally wrong.

How to complain about this advert

If you wish to complain about this advert, you can complain to the Advertising Standards Authority. The ASA says of itself, “if an ad’s harmful, misleading or offensive the Advertising Standards Authority is here to get rid of it.”

The ASA publishes the British Code of Advertising. This code applies to newspaper adverts. We have extracted the appropriate pages of the code and highlighted the points which we believe are relevant to the Gay Police Association’s advert.

Any complaint you make should refer to how, in your view, the advert contravenes the Code.

Click here to see the Code’s relevant sections (highlighted)

Click here to see the Code in full (not highlighted)

Complaints can be made via the ASA website. To do this, click here.

To send a complaint by letter, write to:

The Complaints Department
Advertising Standards Authority
Mid City Place
71 High Holborn
London WC1V 6QT

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