The attacks on free speech continue in Western democracies. Here’s one more story:
There was a pro-homosexual ad campaign in London that said, “Some people are gay. Get over it”. It was sponsored by the lobby group Stonewall. That is one opinion, expressed in the public square.
Another group, an Anglican organization, wanted to run a similar ad campaign on London buses expressing a different opinion, saying “Not gay, ex-gay, post-gay, and proud! Get over it”. The campaign was cleared by industry regulator the Advertising Standards Authority and the bus company was ready to run it.
But the ad was banned by the conservative Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. It was censored. Such opinions must not be articulated in the public, according to the democratically elected Mayor.
This does not differ in principle from what the Iranian or Chinese governments do. Dictators censor opposing views and try to silence opponents. Only correct opinions, approved by authorities, can be expressed – other must be banned.
Freedom of speech is essential for democracy. Without it we have no free press, no freedom of religion, and no free and fair elections. Does Boris Johnson know that?