A world renowned evangelist has claimed victory for freedom of speech after a court ruling over bus ads.
Franklin Graham gave praise after the court said his Lancashire Festival of Hope was discriminated against when the adverts were taken down.
Blackpool Borough Council and Blackpool Transport Services Limited decided to remove advertisements that simply read ‘Time for Hope’.
“We thank God for this ruling because it is a win for every Christian in the UK,” said the evangelist.
The court affirmed that people who hold and publicly express traditional religious views about marriage and human sexuality are entitled to protection under the law.
Blackpool Borough Council was ruled to have been in violation of the Equality Act 2010 in discriminating against the Festival specifically because of the religious views of Franklin Graham.
The court found that the council also interfered with the Lancashire Festival of Hope’s rights of freedom of expression without justification.
A Twitter campaign from LGBT activists pressured Blackpool into removing the bus ads because of Franklin Graham’s religious beliefs on marriage.
But the judge ruled that sincerely held religious beliefs about marriage – which are characteristic of Christians and other religions – does not make the individuals or organisations who hold them ‘extremist’.