Having twice been denied an official license plate while dozens of other groups scored them, Indiana Youth Group has seen its ACLU-backed federal lawsuit against the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles dismissed. And that’s a good thing.
Like other non-profits, the LGBT group IYG sought out a custom license plate for the fundraising potential: IYG would get a cut of each specialized plate sold, up to $25. But after being told it wasn’t eligible, IYG sued and claimed the motor vehicles department unlawfully discriminated against it based on the group’s mission of helping queers. (The group pointed to the bureau approving the pro-life plate from the Indiana Association of Pregnancy Centers, which reads “Choose Life.”) The bureau countered that IYG’s plans for the revenue stream failed to stipulate no money would go toward operational expenses, which would violate the state’s plate policies.
But now that the suit has been dismissed? IYG is hopeful that the third time is the charm, says executive director Mary Byrne, who plans to submit a new application with the necessary clauses about how the money will be spent. “Basically, what they said is that if we submit a new application and make it perfectly clear that we will not use any of the money for administrative expenses — that all the money will go to programming — it is likely we will be able to get a license plate.” And then we can all ride around, Sally.