An atheist man in Kentucky has filed a lawsuit against Kentucky transportation secretary Greg Thomas after the Kentucky DMV denied his "I'M GOD" license plate. The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky and Freedom From Religion Foundation joined his lawsuit stating government officials should not have the ability to deny personalized plates based on religious or political preferences. Photo by Ivdzwaag/Pixabay
INDEPENDENCE, Ky., Nov. 23 (UPI) -- An atheist man in Kentucky is suing state officials after his personalized "I'M GOD" license plate was denied.
Bennie L. Hart told the Courier-Journal the Kentucky DMV rejected his application to keep the license plate he used for 12 years in Ohio dismissing it as "vulgar and offensive."
The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky and Freedom From Religion Foundation have joined Hart to assist him in his lawsuit against Kentucky transportation secretary Greg Thomas, stating government officials should not have the ability to deny personalized plates based on religious or political preferences.
"Under the First Amendment, government officials do not have the authority to censor messages simply because they dislike them," ACLU-KY Legal Director William Sharp said. "And in this instance, personalized license plates are a form of individual speech equally deserving of First Amendment protection."
Hart told the BBC he had no problem registering the license plate in Ohio and and sought the same freedom in his new home.
"I simply want the same opportunity to select a personal message for my licence plate just as any other driver," he said.
Hart became an atheist at the age of 15 and said the license plate is mean to display no one definition of "God" is more righteous than the other.
"Well, there are six definitions of God in the American Heritage Dictionary," he said. "Number five is a very handsome man and my wife says I'm a very handsome man, and nobody argues with my wife."