The NYCLU filed this lawsuit on Dec. 28, 2009 after Suffolk County rejected a local LGBT rights group's attempt to place an advertisement on municipal buses expressing support for same-sex marriage. The lawsuit seeks documents related to Suffolk County policies for non-county entities seeking to advertise on county buses, operating procedures regarding advertising on county property, and records of all ads the county has accepted or denied since May 1, 2007. On May 21, 2009, the county rejected a bus ad proposed by the Long Island LGBT Coalition stating “Support Marriage Equality / Everybody should be able to marry the one they love / Call your state senator.” Explaining the denial in a newspaper article, the county attorney said the county has a long-standing policy of not accepting political ads on its buses. While the county rejected the LGBT group's political ad, it previously accepted an ad from Birthright, an anti-abortion group.
The NYCLU made multiple attempts to obtain Suffolk's policy regarding advertisement guidelines as well as records of what ads have been accepted and rejected in the past, including filing a formal freedom of information request for the records in June 2009. The county refused to turn over the records.
State Supreme Court, Suffolk County, Index No. 49977/09 (direct)