HRC Blog

Indiana Stops Selling LGBT License Plates

The following post comes from HRC Policy & Strategy Coordinator Jennifer Pike:

Hoosiers wanting to show their support for LGBT youth via purchasing specialty license plates can no longer do so. On Friday, the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) announced that it would discontinue the license plates because of a contractual violation.

The Indiana Youth Group (IYG) specialty license plate has been under attack by anti-LGBT lawmakers ever since it won approval earlier this year.  After an unsuccessful attempt to remove the plate through legislation, 20 lawmakers wrote to the BMV, claiming that IYG had violated its contract by selling low-digit plates to donors.

Mary Byrne, the executive director of IYG, disputes that statement and explained that several plates were simply provided as thank-you gifts to donors, a practice that has been allowed for other organizations.  She believes that the group was targeted because they are an LGBT organization, and says they’ve not been given an opportunity to defend their actions or appeal the decision.

Byrne hopes to challenge the BMV’s decision so that Hoosiers may continue to purchase the specialty plates, which helpsto fund IYG’s programs and supports gay straight alliances and other youth services around Indiana.  Plates purchased in the two months that they were available will also remain valid.

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