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News – Leviticus advert banned

February 2009

Leviticus advert banned

 

The use of biblical language in a newspaper advert to describe homosexual practice broke rules on ‘decency’, the advertising regulator has ruled.

     The full-page 540-word ad appeared on 1 August in the Belfast News Letter. It was published in anticipation of a gay rights march in the city.

     The ad placed by Sandown Free Presbyterian Church sought to explain the Bible’s teaching on homosexual practice. It cited a number of Bible verses, including Leviticus chapter 18:22: ‘Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind; it is abomination’.

     The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received only seven complaints – all but one claiming the advert would stir up violence against homosexuals. The Authority rejected that charge, but upheld complaints that the ad broke rules about ‘decency’.

     In its assessment the Authority said: ‘We considered that particular care should be taken to avoid causing offence on the grounds of sexual orientation, and concluded that this ad had caused serious offence to some readers’.

 

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