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Indiana gay youth group first in nation to get specialty auto license plates

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Indiana has become the first state in the nation to offer specialty automobile license plates promoting awareness of gay youth groups.

The new plates will be available beginning in February, and feature the logo of the Indiana Youth Group, an Indianapolis-based group that supports children in the LGBT community. The group’s volunteers travel throughout the state providing support for often-troubled adolescents.

Indiana’s American Civil Liberties Union had sued the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles in September 2010 after the organization’s request for the plate was twice denied.

The group accused the BMV of lacking clear standards to evaluate plates and violating the First Amendment by using unilateral discretion in ruling on applications.

The Indiana Youth Group said after the lawsuit was dismissed in January 2011 that they would apply for the new plate a third time, which was approved last month by the state’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

Micah Clark, Executive Director of the American Family Association of Indiana, reacted to the news, telling a christian website Tuesday:

“You have to question what the BMV was thinking when they approved a license plate for a group which recruits teens into the homosexual lifestyle. Since health risks do not seem to matter, what is to prevent a cigar club from now getting a license plate from the BMV?

“State agencies should be neutral in the politically charged culture war especially the promotion of homosexuality among minors.

“It is very disappointing that Indiana is the first state in the nation to have a license plate celebrating youth involved in homosexual behaviors,” said Clark.

Bil Browning, founder of the Bilerico Project, and a longtime Indiana LGBT rights activist, told LGBTQ Nation Tuesday that he was “not surprised to see that Micah Clark is up to his old tricks.”

“Mr. Clark espouses his far-right views on LGBT rights all across Indiana, but his organization seems to do little else,” Browning said. “Indiana Youth Group, on the other hand, spends its time helping suicidal youth and college planning.”

Browning noted that while Clark calls for the state to remain “neutral in the politically charged culture war,” he has previously advocated for the “In God We Trust” license plate.

The specialty plate costs an additional $40 with $25 directly benefiting the group which provides training for schools and service agencies and works to promote tolerance.

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22 more reader comments:

  1. OHIO NEEDS THESE. I NEED THIS PLATE.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at 8:17pm
  2. WANT!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at 8:17pm
  3. I want these to make their way to the Equality State so I can get one :)

    Posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at 8:19pm
  4. :) that’s my youth group!!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at 8:20pm
  5. JEALOUSSSSS!! i want one those babies on my ride :) that is too cool!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at 8:20pm
  6. Idiana… of all states lol.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at 8:21pm
  7. Nice-We all need to represent!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at 8:23pm
  8. WANT IT SOOOO BAD!!! it’s gonna be a while before PA has them. …. though, my best friend lives in Indiana. maybe i can beg her to get one for me :)

    Posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at 8:24pm
  9. stay gay all the way, the rocky road has toughened us all

    Posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at 8:26pm
  10. Florida needs one

    Posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at 8:27pm
  11. nice!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at 8:27pm
  12. Ironic, isn’t it.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at 8:27pm
  13. A great way to get your car keyed.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at 8:35pm
  14. @Richard Lussky – how is it different from having equality bumperstickers all over your car? i’ve been traveling around with LGBT bumperstickers plastered all over my car for the past 10 years, had 3 different cars & never had any of my cars keyed. just saying. :)

    Posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at 8:46pm
  15. I can’t drive, BUT I WANT ONE.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at 8:53pm
  16. Very proud of my home state!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at 9:09pm
  17. ME TOO!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at 9:30pm
  18. Happy to see that my home state did the right thing.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at 9:59pm
  19. I would get one of these :) Lets see if they’ll make it to VA

    Posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at 10:34pm
  20. If, at any point in your life, you find yourself actively trying to stop a group, any group, from getting customized license plates, GET A LIFE, DUMBASS!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 18, 2012 at 12:05am
  21. Go INDIANA!!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 18, 2012 at 9:04am
  22. Never been more proud to be a Hoosier! Way to go, Indiana!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 18, 2012 at 10:19am