By Erin Mcauley
An atheist organization, backed by the American Civil Liberties Union, says in a lawsuit that a Pennsylvania transit system violated its free speech rights by refusing to run a bus advertisement for its website.
The ad at the center of the controversy states, “Atheists. NEPA Freethought Society. NEPAfreethought.org.”
In its lawsuit filed in the Scranton, Pa. Federal Court, the Northeastern Pennsylvania Freethought Society claims that in February 2012, the Court of Lackawanna Transit System refused to lease advertising space for their message, believing it might “spark public debate and attacked religion.”
The group says the transit system adopted this position despite running “numerous advertisements from religious organizations and other ads that it later deemed to violate its policy.”
The plaintiffs claim the transit system has never turned down an advertisement in the past.
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