Wallbuilders secures legal win over D.C. transit authority

Wallbuilders secures legal win over D.C. transit authority

Wallbuilders secures legal win over D.C. transit authority

Thanks to a judge’s order, a faith-based organization will be able to submit ads --- at least temporarily --- to the Washington, D.C. transit authority that kept turning it away.

In a ruling that favored plaintiff Wallbuilders, a district court enjoined the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority from preventing the organization from submitting its ads for use on public transportation.

Unless WMATA appeals the preliminary injunction to the D.C. Circuit, Wallbuilders can submit its ads while a lawsuit proceeds.

First Liberty Institute attorney Ryan Gardner tells AFN its client, Wallbuilders, submitted two ads for the WMATA to consider. 

"One was the very famous painting of George Washington kneeling in prayer with the word ‘Christian’ on it,” he advises. “And then, in small text under that, to find out about the faith of our founders, go to Wallbuilders.com, with a QR code."

Another ad featured a painting of the constitutional convention with the word “Christian” and the same kind of information.

Gardner, Ryan (First Liberty Institute) Gardner

"There was an ad for Planned Parenthood, for sexual reproduction healthcare and gender identity healthcare, and they did not find that controversial at all," Gardner points out.

"They allowed an ad for the play The Book of Mormon, which is a satire that pokes fun of religious people," says Gardner. "That is perfectly okay, but if you want an actual religious message, that is not okay."

According to First Liberty, the WMATA guidelines state it will not use ads that have “varying views,” which Gardner points out is a subjective policy.

“Now, I will ask you what issue in America today is there not a varying view on?" he stresses.

In 2017, WMATA was sued by the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. after turning down a Christmas advertisement. A judge ruled against the archdiocese and a federal appeals court upheld the ruling.