Alabama recalls ‘offensive’ license plate after it slips past inspectors, shows up on social media

A license plate featuring a gay slur has caused quite the controversy in Alabama.

On Monday a photo of a black Mustang with the license plate “NOHOMO” began circulating on Twitter when user Paul Fulton Jr. posted an image of the plate, according to AL.com.

“By law, the issuance of motor vehicle registrations is not centralized and must be processed at the county level,” she said. “However, the Motor Vehicle Division of the Alabama Department of Revenue does hold the authority to approve personalized messages on license plates.

“Unfortunately, human error allowed this particular message to be approved. Actions are being taken to recall the license plate in question.”

While some users were outraged by the plate and demanded the state recall it, as has been done, others defended the plate, saying it falls under the free speech protection of the First Amendment.

Interestingly, the Supreme Court has decided to rule on a similar case from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which declared the state of Texas was wrong in denying a license plate that featured the Confederate flag logo of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, the Washington Post reported.

Sons Of Confederate Veterans
Photo credit Texas Department of Motor Vehicle via the Washington Post.

The case is set to be heard in the spring.

In the meantime the state of Alabama has said the owner of the “NOHOMO” license plate “will be provided with the appeal rights” to contest its decision to revoke the plate.

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Carmine Sabia

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