Same Sex Union State's DMV rejects 'JOHN316'

TESTING THE FAITH

Bureaucrats claim biblical tag inappropriately refers to 'deity’
worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=42453

A resident of Vermont who had his request for a custom “JOHN316” license plate rejected filed a federal lawsuit against Department of Motor Vehicles officials yesterday.

Alliance Defense Fund, a legal group representing Shawn W. Byrne, says the state agency’s action violates the Constitution.

“The Constitution does not permit DMV officials to discriminate based upon the applicant’s point of view,” said ADF attorney Joshua Carden in a statement. “Religious speech is not inferior to secular speech. The department’s actions are clearly unconstitutional.”

John 3:16 is perhaps the most famous verse in the Christian Bible. It states, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

According to ADF, Byrne submitted his application for the special plate on April 20. The following month, he received a letter from the DMV stating that each of his choices, including “JOHN316,” was “deemed to be a combination that refers to deity and has been denied based on that reason.” Byrne appealed the decision, but an administrative law judge upheld the denial based on the statute that prohibits combinations that refer to “deity,” among other things.

Though DMV officials rejected Byrne’s application, they approved other plates that used names and numbers referring to religion, the legal group says.

“DMV officials selectively censored Mr. Byrne’s expression,” explained Carden. "When officials suppress speech because they don’t like the message of the plate or the viewpoint it expresses, that’s illegal discrimination. …

“Not only did DMV officials enforce the statute unequally when they approved another applicant’s plate that also referred to deity or religion, but the statute itself does not pass constitutional muster. We intend to make sure that the DMV will no longer be able to discriminate against anyone based upon their religious views.”

is it barely possible that this state’s DMV policy not to allow references to the Deity on vanity plates was originally put in place to protect God’s name or references to God from being profanced in deference to the 2nd commandment? banning all such usages is the only way they would be able to ban uses that were offensive or blasphemous.

How did they suspect those word and number combination was a biblical one? Can’t there be other reasons for having such a plate?

One of the posters here had a similiar problem with the DMV. I’ve pm’ed her this thread so that she can hopefully join in on our discussion here.

Fix, John 3:16 is one of the better known verses out there. I think I see a sign for it at nearly every professional sporting event.

fantastic timing!! Vermont’s own…Howard Dean, fo DNC Chair!!!

Any seconds???

[quote=Almeria]One of the posters here had a similiar problem with the DMV. I’ve pm’ed her this thread so that she can hopefully join in on our discussion here.

Fix, John 3:16 is one of the better known verses out there. I think I see a sign for it at nearly every professional sporting event.
[/quote]

Would the plate have the colon because a plate saying JOHN316 can mean just about anything? What if my child’s name was John and March 16 was the birthdate of my child?

[quote=fix]Would the plate have the colon because a plate saying JOHN316 can mean just about anything? What if my child’s name was John and March 16 was the birthdate of my child?
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Because they know what he’s thinking…ergo, a thought crime. Yeah we have those here! And I was sure I had seen other vanity plate names like “GODDESS” used before. I must have been mistaken. :rolleyes:

Odds that a suit would be filed against a citizen with a plate that reads ILVKORAN ???

[quote=puzzleannie]is it barely possible that this state’s DMV policy not to allow references to the Deity on vanity plates was originally put in place to protect God’s name or references to God from being profanced in deference to the 2nd commandment? banning all such usages is the only way they would be able to ban uses that were offensive or blasphemous.
[/quote]

If so, its drafting is overbroad and an unconstitutional abridgement of speech.

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