Boris Johnson

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Boris Johnson at the 2008 Pride Reception, with Ben Summerskill in the background
Boris Johnson (Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, born 1964) is a Conservative politician and former Juornalist. He was elected as Mayor of London in 2008 (defeating the incumbent Ken Livingstone) and re-elected in 2012.

Johnson was educated at Eton College and Balliol College, Oxford. He was editor of The Spectator from 1999 to 2005 and MP for Henly from 2001 to 2008.

As Mayor, he at first continued holding Pride receptions at City Hall, but this event was cancelled from 2010. In 2010 and 2011 he marched at the front of the London Pride parade, but declined to do so in 2011, amongst controversy about the scaling back of the Pride festivities.

In his book Friends, Voters, Countrymen (2001), Johnson wrote that "if gay marriage was OK – and I was uncertain on the issue – then I saw no reason in principle why a union should not be consecrated between three men, as well as two men, or indeed three men and a dog."[1] In recent years he has played down his previous support for Section 28.[2] and has expressed more moderate views on the issue. Three weeks before the 2012 London mayoral election, 2012, he prevented the London buses from advertising a Christian campaign which aimed to preach that homosexuality could be "cured." The campaign was to advertise the phrase, "Not gay! Ex-gay, post-gay and proud. Get over it!" Johnson told The Guardian that he regarded London as "one of the most tolerant cities in the world and intolerant of intolerance." He said, "It is clearly offensive to suggest that being gay is an illness that someone recovers from and I am not prepared to have that suggestion driven around London on our buses."[3]

References

  1. http://www.pinknews.co.uk/news/view.php?id=5244 "Boris Johnson hits back at his critics" Pink News, 27 August 2007
  2. http://www.pinknews.co.uk/news/articles/2005-5535.html "EXCLUSIVE: Boris Johnson courts gay vote" Pink News 23 September 2007
  3. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/apr/12/anti-gay-adverts-boris-johnson?fb=native&CMP=FBCNETTXT9038 "Anti-gay adverts pulled from bus campaign by Boris Johnson" The Guardian 12 April 2012