Published January 13, 2015
The state of Utah can't block a woman from using her license plate to tell the world "GAYSROK," a judge has ruled.
The state has no good reason to prevent Elizabeth Solomon (search) from having that plate — which can be read "Gays are OK" or "Gays Rock" — or another one saying "GAYRYTS," according to Jane Phan, an administrative law judge with the Utah State Tax Commission (search).
"The narrow issue before us is whether a reasonable person would believe the terms 'gays are OK' and 'gay rights' are, themselves, offensive to good taste and decency. It is the conclusion of the commission that a reasonable person would not," Phan wrote.
The state can appeal the July 19 decision.
"We're discussing it, and we have 30 days to do that," Barry Conover, deputy director of the commission, which oversees Utah's Department of Motor Vehicles, said Wednesday.
"It kind of opens up the door for all types of people who want to make a license plate a public forum, for every initiative," he said.
Dani Eyer, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah (search), which represented Solomon, countered: "The government can't pick and choose what subjects it likes and does not like."
Solomon, of Park City, on Wednesday said she considered the judge's decision as a victory for her daughter, who is gay, and for two gay male friends.