Blackpool Council to pay out £109k over axed Franklin Graham festival adverts

Jul 17, 2021 by

from Christian Today:

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is to receive £109,000 from Blackpool Council over cancelled adverts for an evangelistic event featuring its CEO, Franklin Graham.

Adverts for the 2018 Lancashire Festival of Hope ran on local buses but were removed because of Graham’s traditional views on marriage. It followed a social media campaign by local LGBT activists.

But the council has admitted it was in the wrong and agreed to pay the festival’s legal costs, totalling £84,000, and another £25,000 in damages.

The settlement was reached after an April ruling from Manchester County Court that, in removing the ads, Blackpool Council and Blackpool Transport Services violated the Equality Act and the Human Rights Act.

After reaching the settlement, Cllr Lynn Williams, Leader of Blackpool Council, issued an apology in which she said lessons had been learned.

“We accept that the advertisements were not in themselves offensive. We further accept that in removing the advertisements we did not take into account the fact that this might cause offence to other members of the public and suggest that some voices should not be heard. We also regret that we did not consult with the organisers prior to taking our decision,” she said.

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