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Watchdog bans "anti-gay" ad from newspaper

An “anti-gay” advert which appeared in a Belfast daily newspaper has been ruled indecent and banned.

The News Letter carried the ad – entitled The Word of God Against Sodomy – after it was placed by the Sandown Free Presbyterian Church.

The advert contained passages from the Bible condemning homosexuality and urged people to attend a counter-protest to Belfast’s annual Gay Pride Parade.

The Advertising Standards Authority ruled the advert went “further than the majority of readers were likely to find acceptable” and had breached its code on decency.

The ASA said it received seven complaints the advert was offensive. A further six people said it was likely to provoke violence but the Authority said it found this unlikely.

Darwin Templeton, editor of the News Letter, said: “We have received the final adjudication from the Advertising Standards Authority on a small number of complaints relating to an advertisement taken by the Sandown Free Presbyterian Church.

“We are currently studying the document, in conjunction with our legal advisers, to establish whether there are any implications for the News Letter.

“We have strict policies relating to the acceptance of advertisements, which we believe are in keeping with the Committee of Advertising Practice code, and we take our responsibilities as a publisher very seriously.”