Gay man sues state over vanity plates

Jan. 22, 2013 at 11:23 AM

ATLANTA, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- Two free speech lawyers have filed suit against Georgia's Department of Driver Services for rejecting a gay man's vanity plate request.

The suit contends the state violated James Cyrus Gilbert's constitutional rights when it turned down his application for tags 4GAYLIB, GAYPWR and GAYGUY, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Tuesday.

"It's not like I was asking for something that was vulgar or over the top," Gilbert said. "Denying someone the right to put gay on their tag, that's political."

Attorney Cynthia Counts, who is representing Gilbert, said it's "pretty clear the statute has been applied arbitrarily without regard to any state interest."

The suit seeks to force the state to approve his request and issue an order declaring the state regulation that governs vanity plates unconstitutional.

It also asks for nominal damages and attorneys fees.

The Georgia Attorney General's office, Department of Driver Services and Department of Revenue have all declined to comment on the lawsuit.

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