Google Bans Religious Ads, Faces Court

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A Christian group in the United Kingdom is taking Google to court for blocking a pro-life advertisement, earlier this year.

In March, the search engine goliath refused to deploy a pro-life ad for The Christian Institute because of the religious content of the ad. The UK group is a nondenominational Christian charity.

CBN News recently spoke with Mike Judge of The Christian Institute about the case against Google. Watch for more.

The draft ad in question stated, "UK abortion law: Key news and views on abortion law from The Christian Institute. www.christian.org.uk."

The Institute's attorneys argue that Google unlawfully discriminated against them by blocking the ad. The Equality Act 2006 prohibits religious discrimination when providing goods or services.

Institute leaders say they are being treated differently because of their religious beliefs.

"Google promotes itself as a company committed to the ideals of free speech and the free exchange of ideas. It is against this standard that Google's anti-religious policy is so unjust," said Colin Hart, director of The Christian Institute.

According to an e-mail Google sent to the group, the ad was banned for "unacceptable content." But Google does allow advertisements for non-religious sites, including those with views on abortion. It also allows ads for pornographic sites -- as long as the sex is consensual and does not involve children or animals.

"If there is to be a free exchange of ideas, then Google cannot give special free speech rights to secular groups whilst censoring religious views," Hart said. "To describe abortion and religion-related content as 'unacceptable content', while at the same time advertising pornography, is ridiculous."

Google's Web site clearly states: "Google was founded with a clear vision in mind: To organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful."

But attorneys for the UK group say the Internet giant will not allow ads for Web sites which contain "abortion and religious-related content."

In response, the Institute's attorney's have asked Google to change its policy or face legal action.

Google is the number one search engine in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, and Australia, with over 80 million unique users per month.

Source: Christian.org.uk

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