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DC archdiocese sues transit agency over rejection of Christmas season ads

DC archdiocese sues transit agency over rejection of Christmas season ads

- The Archdiocese of Washington has filed a lawsuit against Metro after it denied an advertisement because it "depicts a religious scene". Our Find The Perfect Gift initiative seeks to remind people of the well accepted, joyful spirit of the season.

The ads featured a silhouette of the the three Magi and displayed the text "Find The Perfect Gift", the Archdiocese said in a statement announcing the lawsuit.

'The rejected ad conveys a simple message of hope, and an invitation to participate in the Christmas season. Chieko Noguchi, the spokesperson of the church said the metro advertisement was particularly made to avoid such a scenario.

According to Susan Timoney, secretary for pastoral ministry and social concerns for the Archdiocese, "Our ad was created to be placed on metro bus exteriors to reach the broadest audience and to invite everyone to experience the well-accepted joyful spirit of the season, or to share their many blessings with others less fortunate through service opportunities".

Jack Costello, a representative of Outfront Media, told Archdiocese spokesman Ed McFadden over the phone that if the ad "had a commercial goal, such as selling goods or services, then the advertisement would be more likely to comply with WMATA's guidelines". McFadden scorned the transport authority by adding that WMATA is a grinch if the advertisement depicts anything more than presents.

"The ad in question was declined because it is prohibited by WMATA's current advertising guidelines", the agency said in a statement.

In the summer of 2015, WMATA let Carafem, an abortion facility that styles itself as a "spa", advertise its lethal services.

Over one hundred people join together for community Thanksgiving meal
A large banner outside Agriculture Hall proclaimed the major milestone as people arrived for the free meal. Word said even though he's not with his immediate family, he's making a new one at the dinner table.

They also say that the imagery on their ad isn't even very religious - since it doesn't show Jesus, the manger or a cross. Launched to commemorate World AIDS Day, the ads read, "Because the bishops ban condoms, innocent people die", and they urged readers to "Join the Global Campaign to End the Bishops' Ban on Condoms".

He said the ad was submitted in late October to the agency that manages W.M.A.T.A. advertisements, Outfront Media, which rejected it within 24 hours.

Metro's guidelines also prohibit "advertisements meant to influence members of the public regarding an issue on which there are varying opinions".

"... WMATA's rejection of the Archdiocese's speech amounts to a violation of the First Amendment, plain and simple", Clement said.

The WMATA's latest clash with the Catholic Church also provoked an intense Twitter reaction.

"The Archdiocese wishes to encourage our society to help feed, clothe, and care for our most vulnerable neighbors, and to share our blessings, and welcome all who wish to hear the Good News", said Timoney.

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