'˜Ex-gay' bus ad man: I got raw deal in comparison with Ashers case
Dr Mike Davidson, who lives near Hillsborough, said that in both cases would-be clients approached a service provider asking them to publish a message linked to their sexual orientation and in both cases they were refused.
Both clients took the service provider to court and in the Ashers case the complainant won – but Dr Davidson lost.
A father-of-two, who has been married for 37 years, Dr Davidson said he is “a Christian man who has experienced homosexual issues but no longer has those feelings”.
In 2012 Stonewall published adverts on London buses which read: “Some people are gay. Get over it!”
Dr Davidson, who runs the Core Issues Trust, booked adverts in response, which read: “Not Gay! Ex-Gay, Post-Gay and Proud. Get over it!”
Then-mayor of London Boris Johnson said he had blocked Dr Davidson’s adverts and the Co Down man appealed to the High Court.
A judge found that he had a right not to be discriminated against due to his sexual orientation – but that the ban was lawful because his adverts would “cause grave offence”.
In contrast, the Court of Appeal in Belfast has upheld a decision that Ashers bakery customer Gareth Lee had been discriminated against for being gay, after the bakery refused to make him a cake with a gay marriage slogan.
Dr Davidson said: “The reason I lost while Gareth Lee won is because the courts are seeking to protect the idea of being ‘born gay’, however there is increasing scientific evidence that sexuality is fluid.”
Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said Dr Davidson’s claims about conversion therapy are incorrect and “morally” wrong. However, he said there were “similarities” in both cases and that his adverts should not have been banned.