Man sues over 'GAYGUY' plate ban
WHAT EXACTLY SEPARATES THE REJECTED FROM THE APPROVED? In Georgia it seems very little separates rejected vanity plates from the approved ones.
ATLANTA, USA - An Atlanta man is suing the state of Georgia after his application for a vanity license plate that he said described his sexual orientation was denied.
State officials turned down three text choices - 4GAYLIB, GAYPWR and GAYGUY - that James Cyrus Gilbert (30), submitted on January 2 2013, for a personalized tag, according to a lawsuit filed against the commissioner of the Georgia Department of Driver Services.
'BAD TAG LIST'
Georgia offers drivers the opportunity to purchase "prestige license plates" for their cars for a fee of the equivalent of R317.
The state prohibits any tag that "may adversely affect public safety or is offensive, profane, or defamatory in nature," according to the license plate application.
All three phrases requested by Gilbert are on the state's "bad tag" list. Gilbert claims the state of Georgia has violated his First Amendment right to free speech.
Georgia's list of banned and approved plates are ridiculous in some cases:
GOTBEER - banned
L0VWINE - approved
HVYGUNS - banned
1BIGGUN - approved
HATERS - banned
HATERS1 - approved
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) discovered a list of 10214 banned tags and 91151 accepted tags, with very little to separate them in some cases.
BIGBRA - YES, GUNLUV - NO
Gilbert said: "I am a gay man. I am a taxpayer. I pay my bills just like everyone else. If I want to have ‘GAYGUY' or 'GAYPOWER' on my license plate, I should be able to do that."
Among the sillier ones accepted are BIGBRA, EROTIKA, and FOXIE1.
Others deemed unsuitable for the public by the State Department of Revenue are plates like ILUVGUNS, GAYPWR and FEMM, yet somehow G0D4EVR, GUNLUV, GAYGAY and FEMFTAL were deemed acceptable.
The inconsistency is the result of many different people with differing views making decisions on what is offensive, a Department of Revenue spokesman told the AJC.
Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens declined to comment on the lawsuit.
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