Indiana is the first state to offer a specialty license plate with a Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Pride rainbow on it, and only the second state to offer a plate that supports gay youth.
The plate became available on December 28, but Indiana Youth Group Director Mary Byrne says it was a long process.
“The first year we applied was 2008 and the second year was 2009, and we were declined because we didn’t meet all the requirements,” she says.
According to Byrne, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles did not give a reason for its refusal so the group contacted the American Civil Liberties Union and filed a lawsuit against the state. BMV spokesman Graig Lubsen says the group simply failed to meet the state’s requirements.
“They were rejected for, one, not having statewide impact and then the second time were rejected because they were intending to use the fund generated for the license plate to pay for salaries of employees which we do not allow,” Lubsen says.
The lawsuit was settled out of court with the condition that another application would be probably be approved. The specialty plate costs $40 , with $25 going directly to the organization.
“And that’s going to go to direct services for the young people that will either be programming here at the activity center or it will help support our work in high schools around the state,” Byrne says.
As of Monday the group had sold 32 license plates. It must sell or renew 2,000 plates in the first four years in order to continue production.