The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina is urging Chapel Hill leaders to let controversial ads stay on local buses.
ACLU Legal Director Christopher Brook wrote in a letter Friday that his group has received complaints from several residents who “don’t want to see their community suppress free speech and dialogue.”
Chapel Hill instead should “serve as a model for other North Carolina communities by embracing the free exchange of ideas, even when controversial,” he said.
The Church of Reconciliation, in Chapel Hill, paid for 98 ads that read: “Join with us. Build peace with justice and equality. End U.S. military aid to Israel.”
A Town Council vote to remove the ads or change the policy to prohibit political ads would be an unconstitutional gag on free speech, Brook said. It also would violate a longstanding Chapel Hill tradition of openness and dialogue, he said.
The town’s stated policy allows political, religious and “issues” advertising if the ad also identifies who paid for the ad and their contact information.
To see the ACLU's complete letter, follow the link below.