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DOJ to Support Catholic Church in Suit Against DC Metro

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By    |   Tuesday, 23 January 2018 01:44 PM

The Trump administration will support the Catholic Church in its lawsuit against the transportation authority of Washington, D.C., for refusing to allow a Christmas advertisement with a biblical Christmas scene, The Washington Free Beacon reports.

The Archdiocese of Washington filed a lawsuit in November against the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, also known as WMATA or Metro, for refusing to accept an ad for its annual charitable campaign that featured the silhouettes of shepherds traveling to a manger, which Metro claimed violated its rule against ads that promote a religion.

In a brief filed on Jan. 16, the Department of Justice filed a brief in support of the church.

"WMATA's guidelines permit messages which generally express commercial or charitable viewpoints, but exclude messages that express religious viewpoints," the Justice Department argued. "WMATA's own statements make clear that it rejected the Archdiocese’s proposal based on the ad’s religious viewpoint, not on the ad’s general subject matter."

Metro’s policy against religious ads started in 2015, after a report found that more than half of the riders were "opposed to running issues ads that cause strong reactions (such as religious extremism, right to life and political advertising).”

Those riders "also find fewer issues acceptable than those that favor running such ads. After considering input from riders and other stakeholders, WMATA staff recommend continuing the prohibition of issue-oriented and advocacy advertising indefinitely, as it may provoke community discord and create concern about discriminatory statements on the system."

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The Trump administration will support the Catholic Church in its lawsuit against the transportation authority of Washington, D.C., for refusing to allow a Christmas advertisement with a biblical Christmas scene, The Washington Free Beacon reports.
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Tuesday, 23 January 2018 01:44 PM
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