Ads began appearing this week on the city’s transit system, emblazoned on the sides of Metro buses, calling for a ballot measure to allow D.C. residents to vote on gay marriage.
Gay rights advocates, Full Equality Now DC, has demanded that the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) remove the ads that they say target D.C. residents on the basis of sexual orientation.
Full Equality Now asserts that the ads force LGBT people to “stare down discrimination as they board the bus to go somewhere or are even passed by an advertisement on the street.”
The ads are sponsored by Stand for Marriage DC, formed earlier this year by Bishop Harry Jackson to oppose the gay marriage-recognition law approved by city leaders earlier this year. The law recognizes gay marriages performed outside the city.
Jackson, pastor of Hope Christian Church, wants voters to decide the issue, an effort that was rejected in November by the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics.
The elections board said allowing residents to vote on a ban would conflict with the city’s 1977 Human Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination.
Jackson, represented by lawyers from a conservative legal organization, recently filed suit in D.C. Superior Court to reverse the elections board’s decision.