By Attorney Jorge P. Gutierrez Special to THELAW.TV If you drive enough, you will end up in a motor vehicle accident at some point in your life. Not because you did anything wrong. But more likely because someone else was not paying attention, was talking or texting on the cell phone, or just being negligent…
An Atlanta man is suing the Georgia Department of Driver Services, contending that his rights were violated when the state rejected his application for vanity plates making reference to his sexual orientation.
James Cyrus Gilbert maintains in the lawsuit that state officials rejected his application for the tags 4GAYLIB, GAYPWR and GAYGUY.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that all three vanity plates are on the list of vanity plates banned by the state, although the state has approved plates expressing some political or religious expressions.
Gilbert said he wasn’t asking for a plate that was vulgar or “over the top.”
The suit seeks to compel the state to approve the requested vanity plate and a court order declaring unconstitutional the state regulation that governs vanity plates. It also asks for nominal damages and attorney fees.
Most of the tags the state has banned are vulgar or hateful. But also on the list are some religious, philosophical and political expressions the state has deemed unsuitable to appear on motor vehicles.
In addition, an AJC analysis of banned and approved vanity plates found the difference between 10,214 banned tags and the 91,151 accepted tags is sometimes ridiculously ambiguous.
Representatives of the state Attorney General’s office, Georgia Department of Driver Services and the Department of Revenue, the agency that administers vanity plates, declined to comment on the lawsuit.