UK gay couple has car license plate banned

Jennifer Medvin | April 21, 2006

A gay couple in the United Kingdom had their automobile license plate banned by the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.) The plate, H8 GAY or �hate gay,� was said to be offensive to gay people by a Member of Parliament.

At first, the DVLA denied the request to ban the license plate, explaining they only recall plates "if they are likely to cause offence or embarrassment to the public on the grounds of political, racial and religious sensitivities or simply because they are in poor taste.� The Agency decided that a plate number, "when correctly spaced, does not fall into any of these categories".

Jocelyn Carr, a businessman from Notting Hill, made the initial complaint to the DVLA after he spotted the number plate on a car. He said, "I was amazed. I just couldn't believe it had been allowed and I assumed it was being driven by a right bigot."

Carr then referred the matter to Chris Bryant, an openly gay Labor Member of Parliament. Mr. Bryant stated "If the DVLA sold H8 JEW or H8 WOG*, there would rightly be a public outcry. Clearly this goes beyond the realms of free speech and is a directly and deliberately offensive and abusive statement."

The homosexual couple who own the blue Jaguar that carried the license plate, claim that the plate was not created to offend other gay people, but as a joke. It is believed that the couple has since moved to France.

*WOG is derogatory slang for a person of ethnic origin. – Issued by Gay Link Content

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