Friday, August 12, 2011

ARKANSAS: Atheists Win Bus Suit

An atheist group seeking to place its message on city buses has won its lawsuit against an Arkansas public transit agency. The agency had demanded payment on a $3M insurance policy in case rampaging Christians decided to vandalize its vehicles in response to the ads.
Judge Susan Webber Wright ruled that the Central Arkansas Transit Authority and its advertising agency should not have denied the group the right to place the ads on 18 publicly-funded city buses during Memorial Day weekend. Washington-based United Coalition of Reason filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Arkansas group in June after the transit authority and its advertising agency rejected an ad that would have read, "Are you good without God? Millions are." "This was a victory for all of us whether you believe in God or not, because it's a victory of free speech," United Coalition of Reason's attorney J.G. Schultz told Reuters. The transit authority and its advertising agency, On The Move Advertising, had required payment of a $36,000 deposit to run the ad. The group then changed that to a $3 million insurance policy in case of bus vandalism by angry Christians.