A D.C.-based gay rights group is demanding the removal of anti-gay marriage ads on the city's transit system. Full Equality Now DC says the ads “force LGBT citizens to face discrimination when they go to work.”

The ads are sponsored by Stand for Marriage DC, a group formed in the spring by Bishop Harry Jackson to oppose a gay marriage-recognition law approved with the overwhelming support of city leaders. The law recognizes gay marriages performed outside the city.

Since then, lawmakers have approved a gay marriage bill that allows gay and lesbian couples to marry in the District. The law is expected to go into effect in February or early March.

Jackson and his group wants voters to decide the issue; the ads on the city's transit system advocate for a public vote on a gay marriage ban.

Full Equality Now DC protested the ads in a letter sent to Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) General Manager John B. Catoe.

“While we understand that WMATA allows politically-oriented groups to purchase advertising on its transit system, this advertisement is not merely political,” the group wrote. “This advertisement specifically targets citizens on the the basis of sexual orientation, in direct opposition to both common decency and the standards of non-discrimination in WMATA's own policies.”

“For LGBT citizens to have to experience discriminatory messages as they go about their daily life is unacceptable and must be stopped. For this reason, we demand that WMATA remove all advertisements posted by Stand for Marriage DC as soon as possible.”

Not all gay marriage backers, however, are united against the ads. A second group of prominent gay leaders in the district, which includes the city's ACLU director, countered with their own letter: “As supporters of civil marriage equality, we also embrace the principle of free speech … therefore, [we] urge you to reject the misguided censorship advocated by Full Equality Now DC.”