WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s Division of Motor Vehicles has now OK’d more than 200 phrases that had been blocked from being affixed to vanity license plates, including some related to sexual orientation.
Among the terms removed from the DMV’s extensive do-not-issue list for personalized plates following a review late last year were “GAYPRIDE,” “LESBIAN” and “QUEER,” WFDD-FM reported.
Such entries prompted DMV Commissioner Wayne Goodwin to launch a formal review of the list – containing over 9,000 items – for the first time in its two-decade history, according to the radio station.
“Anything on the do-not-issue list should not include the LGBT community,” Goodwin said. “I don’t know how long the terms that relate to the LGBT community were on that list. But with my administration they are coming off.”
The prohibited list, however, still includes “BISEXUAL” and “GAYS0K,” as well some words related to reproduction and race.
Goodwin said the review process is ongoing, and the DMV welcomes public feedback.
“Things can slip through,” Goodwin said. “My aim is to be consistent with our approach, no plates of hate in this state.”
Before the recent purging of phrases, DMV employees read through the list and referred questionable entries to a review committee that included staffers from the Department of Transportation, which oversees DMV, and its Office of Civil Rights. Over two dozen of the 239 items removed were related to the LGBTQ community, the station said.
Goodwin said his office also recently recalled eight plates after receiving public complaints. All of them were labeled antisemitic, with some spelled in nontraditional ways.
“Folks are crafty and conniving with the combination of letters,” Goodwin said.