WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles has now allowed more than 200 phrases that have been blocked from appearing on vanity license plates, including some related to sexual orientation.
Among the terms removed from the DMV’s extensive no-issuance list for personalized license plates following a review late last year were “GAY,” “LESBIAN” and “QUEER,” WFDD-FM reported.
Such records prompted DMV Commissioner Wayne Goodwin to begin a formal review of the list, which contains more than 9,000 items, for the first time in its two-decade history. according to the radio station.
“Nothing that is on the list of unresolved issues should include the LGBT community,” Goodwin said. “I don’t know how long there have been terms related to the LGBT community on this list. But with my administration, they are leaving.”
The banned list, however, still includes “BISEXUAL” and “GAYS0K” as well as some words related to reproduction and race.
Goodwin said the review process is ongoing and the DMV welcomes feedback from the public.
“Anything can slip through the cracks,” Goodwin said. “My goal is to be consistent with our approach, without plates of hate in this state.”
Before the recent phrase cleanup, DMV officials read the list and referred the questionable entries to a review board made up of officials from the Department of Transportation, which oversees the DMV, and its Office for Civil Rights. More than two dozen of the 239 removed items were related to the LGBTQ community, the station reported.
Goodwin said his office also recently recalled eight plates after receiving public complaints. All of them have been called anti-Semitic, with some being written in unconventional ways.
“People are crafty and indulge in letter combinations,” Goodwin said.
More LGBTQ phrases allowed on North Carolina toilet signs
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