Civil Rights Groups Find Common Ground with Anti Gay-Marriage Group over Metro | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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    Civil Rights Groups Find Common Ground with Anti Gay-Marriage Group over Metro

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    A protest over Metro bus ads has created common ground between gay rights advocates and a Christian coalition opposed to same-sex marriage.

    It all started with a tweet on Twitter, as so many things do. Someone from a little-known gay rights group called "Full Equality Now DC" sent a Tweet demanding Metro take down ads the group considered offensive.

    The ads, which read "Let the people vote on marriage," were bought by a Christian coalition called "Stand For Marriage DC." The group opposes gay marriage and wants to hold a city referendum on the issue.

    "If it's not lewd, pornographic or obscene then the ad will go up," says Metro spokesman Steven Taubenkibel. "Advertising on the Metro system is covered by the same First Amendment rights that cover other such communications in out society today."

    The ACLU agreed -- as did a major gay rights group in D.C. called the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance or GLAA. They put together a coalition of civil liberties groups and sent a letter to Metro telling it to keep the ads.

    "We are defending our own liberties," says GLAA spokesman Rick Rosendall. "We're defending our own rights. To start carving away at America's Bill of Rights is the absolute opposite of what we should be doing."

    That's just fine with Patrick Walker, a spokesman for Stand For Marriage DC.

    "I wasn't surprised at all," Walker says. "It's reasonable and therefore reasonable thinking people would know that 'Hey it's freedom of speech.'"

    Metro says it will take down the ads tonight because the contract has expired.

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