Man sues after Georgia rejects GAYGUY license plate

James Cyrus Gilbert claims that state officials refused his application, although the state does permit plates expressing some political or religious expressions.

ATLANTA — 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 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."

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.

Georgia keeps a database of the vanity plates it has already rejected. In addition to tags that include profanity or try to sneak it in by replacing letters with numbers, the state has declined to let people register vanity plates reading "0PIUM," "IRAQ," "FATLADY" and "BGODLY," among thousands of others.

In 2011, a Nevada man successfully sued the state's Department of Motor Vehicles after it rejected several of his applications for plates supporting former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Las Vegas Sun reported. The DMV said his requests were "vulgar or obscene or expressing superiority of political affiliation," but a judge reversed the department's decision and he was issued "GOPALIN" plates.

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