Three dozen religious leaders took out a full-page ad in Tuesday’s edition of The New York Times, publicly calling on Village Voice Media to stop accepting adult ads on its classified advertising website, backpage.com, because of numerous cases of child sex-trafficking that have been linked to the site by police.
The demand to shut down backpage.com’s adult advertising section comes two months after 51 state attorneys general, including Washington state’s Rob McKenna, issued a similar demand and asked Village Voice executives to back up their assertion that they go to great lengths to prevent the sexual exploitation of minors on the site.
The newly formed multifaith coalition is made up of Christians, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Humanists and other moral and religious leaders. The group was convened by Groundswell, a social-action initiative that was started by the Auburn Theological Seminary in New York City. So far, none of the coalition members is from the Pacific Northwest.