Curd Your Enthusiasm: Maine Bans Vegan’s “LUVTOFU” License Plate

6 months ago 11

Irreverent car owners are presently warring a losing conflict with propriety-minded bureaucrats successful Maine—and 1 unsuspecting vegan has recovered himself successful the crosshairs.

Up until 2015, Maine’s caput of authorities could veto a vanity licence sheet petition if it featured thing “obscene, contemptuous, profane, oregon prejudicial.” But past lawmakers did distant with that peculiar restriction, kickstarting a aureate property of inappropriate plates successful the Pine Tree State. The tide began to alteration successful 2021, erstwhile newly appointed Secretary of State Shenna Bellows made it her ngo to cleanable up the connection connected Maine’s roads without treading connected anyone’s law rights.

“The First Amendment protects your close to person immoderate bumper sticker you want, but it doesn’t unit the authorities to contented you a registration sheet that subjects each kid successful your vicinity to a connection the authorities wouldn’t let them to spot successful a movie theater,” Bellows said successful a 2021 code to the authorities legislature’s proscription committee.

Her rationale won out, starring to legislation that present allows Maine’s caput of authorities to veto oregon adjacent callback a vanity sheet that “is profane oregon obscene,” “connotes genitalia oregon relates to intersexual acts,” oregon “makes a derogatory reference” to immoderate fig of protected classes, among different restrictions.

Recently, arsenic the Associated Press reports, 274 plates were recalled for violating the caller terms—including “LUVTOFU,” which proprietor Peter Starostecki said is simply his “protest against eating nutrient and carnal products.” The assertion that the sheet is an guiltless tribute to legume curd alternatively than a intersexual notation is supported by the information that Starostecki’s conveyance besides sports aggregate tofu-centric bumper stickers. 

Heather Libby, connected the different hand, wasn’t trying to beforehand immoderate circumstantial ideology erstwhile she purchased a vanity sheet that contained the connection b***h: She and her champion person conscionable wanted to get matching plates for fun.

Libby and Starostecki were 2 of lone 13 offending sheet owners who appealed their recalls, but neither they nor immoderate of the different appellants were successful. (No 1 has yet tried to elevate their lawsuit to the Supreme Court, which is technically an option.) Instead, Libby ordered a caller sheet containing her dog’s name, Zeus. And Starostecki is getting retired of the vanity sheet crippled altogether, adjacent turning down an connection to regenerate LUVTOFU with V3GAN. The scope of his animal-friendly evangelizing volition present remainder connected the spot of his bumper stickers alone.

[h/t Associated Press]

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