Homosexual hookup ad sample
being posted at certain
Washington, D.C. metro
(CNSNews.com)-- The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) in Washington, D.C. is currently running an advertisement for Squirt.org, an app that helps homosexuals find hookup partners. But the WMATA refuses to run religious or political ads.
A Metro representative said the Squirt.org ads could not be removed because regulating ad content violates the advertiser’s First Amendment rights, even though religious, political and advocacy-related ads are banned according to Metro policy because of their content.
The Squirt.org advertisement features two men, one looking at the camera while the other loosens the first one's tie and whispers in his ear. The caption reads, “Your place or mine?”
“The advertiser purchased a total of five ads in three stations through August 7. Metro has not received any customer complaints to date,” said Metro spokesperson Morgan Dye.
However, a petition by CitizenGO reveals that, at press time, 1,624 people objected to the ad.
“Not only does the advertised website encourage homosexual hookups and video chats, it also provides an avenue for interested customers to find a ‘casual’ sexual encounter in a public place, such as a bar or a public restroom,” said CitizenGO’s English language Campaign Director Caroline Craddock.
“This activity, commonly known as ‘cruising,’ invites criminal activity such as indecent exposure and illegal prostitution,” Craddock continued.
Dye said that the First Amendment right to free speech prevents WMATA from regulating ad content.
“Metro advertising space has been ruled by the courts as a public forum protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution, and we may not decline ads based on their content, provided that they conform with our Board-approved ad policy,” Dye said.
However, WMATA banned all ads with religious, political, or advocacy-related content from the Metro in May 2015, which according to NBC was a response to a proposed ad featuring a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammed.
The ban was made permanent in November 2015.
When CNSNews.com presented this apparent contradiction to the WMATA Board of Directors at their meeting on July 28, they did not comment.