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Indiana’s ‘In God We Trust’ plate in, Indiana woman’s ‘GOD’ plate out

ADF attorneys file suit against Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles for banning personalized plates that mention God while issuing its own
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INDIANAPOLIS — Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund filed a lawsuit Monday challenging an Indiana statute that does not allow references to religion or a deity on personalized license plates even though the state itself issues "In God We Trust" specialty plates.  ADF attorneys filed the lawsuit against the commissioner of the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles on behalf of a woman whose application to renew her nine-year-old personalized plate was denied because of its reference to God.

"Christians shouldn’t be discriminated against for expressing their beliefs," said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley.  "The Bureau of Motor Vehicles is speaking out of both sides of its mouth when it sells license plates with the word 'God' but then rejects a citizen’s personalized plate that uses the same word."

After having a personalized license plate reading "BE GODS" for nine years, Liz Ferris re-applied for the plate in March after realizing she had accidently let it lapse.  In May, the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles refused to renew the plate as "inappropriate due to form or content" because it violated its policy banning references to religion or a deity.  Ironically, the state offers "In God We Trust" license plates to the public.

Ferris was inspired to apply for the specialty plate years ago by Christian musician Rich Mullins, who signed autographs with the phrase "Be God’s," meaning, "Belong to God."

ADF-allied attorney Michael Cork, of the Indianapolis-based firm Bamberger, Foreman, Oswald, & Hahn, LLP, is serving as local counsel in the lawsuit.

ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith.  Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.