|River Walk in Elkhart, Indiana (Photo by Acsmith3)|
When Chris Bontrager asked that the term “ATHE1st” be placed on a personalized license plate, his request was denied by the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles. No specific reason was given.
Because Bontrager “believed the decision was religiously motivated,” he “filed an appeal with the state.” With help from the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, Bontrager soon received his desired plate.
“Both the Indiana Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court” have affirmed that license-plate messages “amount to ‘government speech.’” The state therefore has an ability to deny or approve such requests. Denying a message on religious grounds, however, would lend a whole new layer to the decision.
Copyright April 10, 2017 by Linda Van Slyke All Rights Reserved