November 29, 2019
The Commonwealth of Kentucky has approved personalized license plates that say “GODLVS,” “TRYGOD,” “1GOD” and “NOGOD.” So, when Ben Hart applied to have a personalized license plate reading “IMGOD,” Hart (an atheist) assumed his request would be approved.
He assumed wrong. The request was denied on the grounds that the proposed license plate would violate guidelines that prohibit discrimination against anyone because of their sex, race, color, religion or nationality.
It took three years, but Hart now has his license plate. That’s because a federal court has ruled that “vanity plates are private speech protected by the First Amendment,” and that the refusal to let Hart put “IMGOD” on his plate was discriminatory.
No word on whether the Commonwealth will seek to appeal or will leave the matter to a higher authority.