24 October 1997


City council reverses decision to ban pro-gay poster following intervention by Human Rights Commission

Incident details

legal action

(FXI/IFEX) - The Pretoria City Council has reversed its decision
to ban a poster advertising the services of the Gay and Lesbian
Organisation of Pretoria (GLOP) and intended for display on
municipal buses in the city. In a letter dated 8 September 1997,
the council advised GLOP that its advertisement had been
approved. However, the original words "Gay is OK" were changed to
read "Gay and Lesbian Organisation - Pretoria". A spokesperson
for GLOP said the intervention by the South African Human Rights
Commission (SAHRC) had been crucial in the approval of the

**Updates IFEX alert dated 14 July 1997**

Background Information

In April 1997, the executive committee of the Pretoria City
council turned down a request by GLOP for the poster to be
displayed on municipal buses. In July, following a review of the
decision, the council upheld its earlier decision, saying the
poster might conflict with certain religious principles.
Following a complaint by GLOP that it was being discriminated
against in terms of the Constitution, the SAHRC agreed to
intervene saying it would "assess whether the limitation to
freedom of speech imposed by the council is reasonable and
justifiable in an open and democratic society". The GLOP poster
was an advertisement for the organisation's mental health
services for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered
community of Pretoria, believed to number more than 100 000 (see
IFEX alert).


Freedom of Expression Institute
PO Box 30668 Braamfontein 2017
21st floor, Sable Centre, 41 De Korte Street
Braamfontein, Johannesburg 2001
South Africa
jduncan (@) fxi.org.za
Fax:+27 11 339 4109
South Africa

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