State of Georgia Sued After Banning 'Gay' License Plates

| by Michael Allen
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James Cyrus Gilbert has filed a lawsuit against the state of Georgia for allegedly violating his constitutional rights when it denied an application for license plates that said 4GAYLIB, GAYPWR and GAYGUY, reports The Atlanta Constitution.

Gilbert's attorneys filed a lawsuit against Georgia Department of Driver Services Commissioner Robert G. Mikell.

Gilbert told The Atlanta Constitution: “It’s not like I was asking for something that was vulgar or over the top. 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.”

The Georgia Department of Revenue has claimed that it is not possible to always be consistent with license plate approval because there are so many different state employees with differing views.

Lawyer Cynthia Counts, who represents Gilbert, said: “I think it’s pretty clear the statute has been applied arbitrary without regard to any state interest. And the restrictions have reflected viewpoint discrimination and that alone should be fatal.”

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported that the State of Georgia approved a license plate for BELLY, but not UTERUS. ENGLAND and SYRIA were also approved, but IRAQ and IRAN2 were not.

Lawyer Gerry Weber, who is also representing Gilbert, added: “Really these license plates are one of the primary ways Georgians use free speech. Not many Georgians go to rallies, but thousands of Georgians express themselves through these license plates. Think about how many people over the course of a year see your license plate. That’s a huge audience.”