Wednesday, The AP reported that a Georgia man is suing the state's driver services department, saying it violated his constitutional rights by denying his application for a vanity license plate with the word "gay" in the reading.
James Cyrus Gilbert maintains in the lawsuit that his rights were violated after state officials rejected his application for a vanity plate reading "4GAYLIB", "GAYPWR" or "GAYGUY".
Mr. Gilbert told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution he was not asking for something "vulgar or over the top" when he requested the vanity plates.
"Denying someone the right to put gay on their tag, that’s political. If I want I could get a tag that said straight man, but because it had gay on it, it’s not available."
These three combinations are on a list banned by Georgia, the newspaper reported. However, the state has reportedly approved plates with some political or religious expressions in the past.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on the descrepancies of the Georgia BMV, as state officials denied "G0DROKS" and "ILUVGUNS,"S0SEXY1" yet "G0D4EVR", "GUNLUV", "GAYGAY" and "FEMFTAL" were approved.
Gilbert's lawyer, Cynthia Counts, said he wanted the plates to be a political statement about who he is - a gay guy.
In his complaint, Gilbert claims that the application of the statute is “arbitrary and capricious and chills speech protected by the First Amendment.”
In 2009, a Colorado woman who said she was a vegan was denied the vanity plate, "ILVTOFU," but in that case, officials claimed the letters could be misinterpreted.