Judge orders gay youth plates reinstated

2013-05-31T16:15:00Z 2013-05-31T23:53:03Z Judge orders gay youth plates reinstatedBob Kasarda bob.kasarda@nwi.com, (219) 548-4345 nwitimes.com

INDIANAPOLIS | An administrative hearing judge has brought at least a temporary end to a 15-month dispute by ordering the specialty license plate be reinstated for the Indiana Youth Group.

The judge for the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles found that "IYG's actions did not constitute a sale or auction of low digit SGR (Specialty Group Recognition) license plate," according to the group, which provides support service to gay youth.

"Therefore, IYG's actions did not support the immediate termination of the Contract as provided in this section," according to the IYG. "The BMV was required to give IYG thirty (30) days notice and the opportunity to correct or cure its breach prior to terminating the Contract."

"While the politics may not have been on our side through this process, we were always confident that the facts were", said IYG's Executive Director Mary Byrne.

BMV Commissioner R. Scott Waddell will decide over the next 18 days whether to comply with the decision to reinstate the plates or appeal, according to Josh Gillespie, executive director of communications for the agency.

Sales of the IYG license plate were suspended in March 2012 after 20 state legislators signed a letter to the BMV on the last day of the legislative session requesting immediate suspension alleging that IYG and two other organizations were selling the low numbered plates, according to the youth group. The group said the action by lawmakers was the culmination of over six weeks of the state assembly trying to pass legislation to take the plate away from IYG. 

IYG said it was using the low numbered plates as thank-you gifts associated with different levels of giving, much the same as premiums being offered with different levels of membership by public radio or television during their fundraising drives.


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