Washington DC metro system sued for refusing 'political' advertisements

ACLU sues Metro for rejecting controversial ads, saying its policy violates the First Amendment

ACLU sues Metro for rejecting controversial ads, saying its policy violates the First Amendment

Milo Worldwide LLCsubmitted ads with Yiannopoulos' face, info on pre-ordering his book, "Dangerous", and a short blurbs from one of four publications calling Yiannopoulos "The most hated man on the Internet", "The ultimate troll", "The Kanye West of Journalism" and an "Internet Supervillain".

The American Civil Liberties Union is suing Metro, alleging the transit agency's ad restrictions violate the First Amendment.

Yiannopoulos, who is British, is not the group's only client in its lawsuit filed in federal court against the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

"This case highlights the consequences of the government's attempt to suppress all controversial speech on public transit property", Arthur Spitzer, legal director of the ACLU-DC and lead counsel in the case, said in a statement.

As the ACLU tweeted, "the four plaintiffs in our case span the political spectrum, illustrating the indivisibility of the First Amendment".

The far-right figurehead was banned from Twitter past year after allegedly encouraging a wave of racist abuse directed at Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones, while he also took advantage of a university speech on his "Dangerous Faggot" lecture tour to single out and bully a transgender student on-stage.

The rejected ads, according to the ACLU, include one for Carafem, supporting access to a 10-week-after pill for abortions. WMATA had initially advertised Yiannopoulos' book, Dangerous, but removed the ads after complaints.

The Metro has a policy of excluding content "intended to influence members of the public regarding an issue on which there are varying opinions" or "intended to influence public policy".

"WMATA intends to vigorously defend its commercial advertising guidelines, which are reasonable and view-point neutral", a spokesperson told Business Insider.

"The abortion pill is, of course, both FDA-approved and accepted by the American Medical Association".

PETA, known for shocking and theatrical activism on behalf of animals, had their ad that showed a pig with the line "I'm ME, Not MEAT. See the individual. Go vegan". "It sends the message it's good to eat pork". "We're not just trying to get some particular viewpoint displayed on Metro here but all viewpoints including people who disagree with each other about lots of things". Chase Strangio posted his feelings on Twitter Wednesday, saying that while sometimes he agrees with the ACLU's decisions to occasionally take up the causes of "representing despicable people in the service of protecting the valuable First Amendment principles", when it comes to conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, he's not on board.

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