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Thursday, May 19, 2005

"JOHN316" License Plate Renewed After Committee Review

The Washington State Department of Licensing is required to review any complaint against a vanity license plate. The policy is to deny any plate that is "offensive to good taste and decency," "blasphemous," "vulgar, profane or sexually suggestive in nature," or "a racial, ethnic, lifestyle or gender slur."

Jane Milhans requested to renew her "JOHN316" vanity plate, which she had for over 21 years. Someone registered a complaint, saying "I was offended that I have to be prayed over by a license plate." Milhan responded "The Scripture actually references love. I thought that would be a positive message and brighten someone's day."

The licensing department reviewed and approved the plate.

State says "JOHN3:16" plate's OK

In a separate incident, Shawn Byrne of Rutland Vermont was denied her "JOHN316" plate because, according to state attorneys, "the plate would amount to a state endorsement of religion ." Byrne is suing the state.

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