What do Milo Yiannopoulos and the animal rights group PETA have in common? Not much, but both are coming together in a lawsuit against the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority — commonly known as “Metro” — which prohibited them for advertising on the D.C. subway. What’s more, the American Civil Liberties Union is spearheading the effort.
“To put it mildly, these plaintiffs have nothing in common politically. But together, they powerfully illustrate the indivisibility of the First Amendment,” the civil liberties group said in a statement. “Our free speech rights rise and fall together — whether left, right, pro-choice, anti-choice, vegan, carnivore, or none of the above.”
Yiannopoulos had been advertising on the subway to promote his new book “Dangerous,” but the spots were pulled after riders complained about the right-wing provocateur. PETA’s ads urging straphangers to “go vegan” were refused by W.M.A.T.A., an agency administered by D.C., the federal government, and the states of Maryland and Virginia.
The Metro has a policy of excluding content “intended to influence members of the public regarding an issue on which there are varying opinions” or “intended to influence public policy.”