Top blogger Cranmer is being investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority for carrying the following advertisement on his blog (which I reproduce here merely for the purpose of illustration):
Apparently, "24 anonymous complainants...challenged whether the claim '70% of people say keep marriage as it is'. However, His Grace is not required to respond to that point, since he did not conduct the research. But it transpires that 10 of these 24 complainants objected that the ads were ‘offensive’ and ‘homophobic’, and he is requested to respond to these allegations ‘under CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 and 3.3 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (Substantiation) and 4.1 (Harm and offence)’."
As might be expected, Cranmer is getting lots of support from outraged readers, including those who are gay but think the case ridiculous. And, inevitably, a lot of people are now copying the ad onto their own blogs, merely as illustration of course. Quite apart from the issue of whether or not gay marriage is a good idea, the really interesting thing here is on what grounds such an advert could be described as offensive and homophobic, and what that says about the nature of free speech in the UK.
I've no doubt that the ASA investigation will fail to get anywhere - I guess they are simply following protocol - but that they are investigating it at all is beyond parody.
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