An Atlanta man is suing the state of Georgia after officials there denied his request for a vanity license plate that made no secret of his sexual orientation.
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, reports AP.
Gilbert's lawyer, Cynthia Counts, said he wanted the plates to be a political statement about who he is - a gay guy.
State officials denied the request and, according to the NY Daily News, allegedly told Gilbert that "none of those three would be available".
All three options for the plates are on the list of slogans banned by the state, although the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Georgia has approved other plates that express political or religious preferences.
“It’s not like I was asking for something that was vulgar or over the top,” Gilbert told the Journal-Constitution.
“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 Driver Services and the Department of Revenue, the agency that administers vanity plates, declined to comment on the lawsuit, reports AP.
Georgia's State officials acknowleged that the approval process for vanity plates can be inconsistent.
Accoring to a review by the Journal-Constitution, the state approved vanity plates reading HATERS, but denied HATERS1. They approved BLKBERI, BLKCHRY and BLCBUTI, but denied BLKACE.
Gilbert isn't the first vanity plate seeker to run afoul of state laws. AP reports that in 2009, a Colorado woman who was a vegan tried to get a vanity plate reading "ILVTOFU".
She was denied because officials said the statement could be misinterpreted.