Another day, another reason to be delighted (II)

Another day, another reason to be delighted (II) July 18, 2007

THE National Secular Society today welcomed a ruling by the Advertising Standards Agency against a full page advertisement in The Times seeking to raise alarm about the Sexual Orientation equality legislation debated in Parliament earlier this year. The Society was one of the complainants. The advertisements were placed by Coherent and Cohesive Voice.
Terry Sanderson, President of the National Secular Society said: ‘We are extremely pleased that this advertisement has been shown to be misleading. There is an increasing tendency among evangelical religious groups to exaggerate and panic-monger when fighting campaigns. It is incumbent on everyone dealing with legislation that involves serious social reform with big impacts on the rights of oppressed minorities – in this instance gay people – to be careful, objective and truthful.’

‘The sensationalist full page advertisement, which was also placed in a publication for members of Parliament, made four claims about the Regulations, every one of which Lord Rooker, the Government Minister concerned, told fellow peers in the chamber he believed to be incorrect.
‘The Advertising Standards Agency found the advertisement breached its CAP Code under clauses 3.1 (Substantiation) and 7.1 (Truthfulness). Its judgment noted that there had been considerable input from lawyers in drafting the advert. It is astonishing that, given such eminent advice, the advertisement contained so many obvious flaws.
‘The legislation, which was passed despite the advertisement, made it illegal to discriminate in the provision of goods, services, education and accommodation on the grounds of sexual orientation. It was contained in Regulations brought under the Equality Act.’
See the ASA judgement here.

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