Indiana Unveils Its First License Plate For Gay Youths

Indiana’s first specialty license plate that benefits gay causes is now available for purchase. Bureau of Motor Vehicles spokesman Graig Lubsen said the Indiana Youth Group plate has been...
An undated photo provided by the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles shows Indiana's first specialty license plate that benefits gay causes. The Bureau of Motor Vehicles says the Indiana Youth Group plate has been available since Dec. 28. Youth Group Director Mary Byrne tells The Indianapolis Star that Indiana is the second state in the nation with a specialty plate benefiting gay youths. (AP Photo/Ind. Bureau of Motor Vehicles via The Indianapolis Star) / AP
An undated photo provided by the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles shows Indiana's first specialty license plate that benefits gay causes. The Bureau of Motor Vehicles says the Indiana Youth Group plate has been available since Dec. 28. Youth Group Director Mary Byrne tells The Indianapolis Star that Indiana is the second state in the nation with a specialty plate benefiting gay youths. (AP Photo/Ind. Bureau of Motor Vehicles via The Indianapolis Star) / AP

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana’s first specialty license plate that benefits gay causes is now available for purchase. Bureau of Motor Vehicles spokesman Graig Lubsen said the Indiana Youth Group plate has been available since Dec. 28. The plate bears a logo with hands in rainbow colors reaching up.

An undated photo provided by the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles shows Indiana's first specialty license plate that benefits gay causes. The Bureau of Motor Vehicles says the Indiana Youth Group plate has been available since Dec. 28. Youth Group Director Mary Byrne tells The Indianapolis Star that Indiana is the second state in the nation with a specialty plate benefiting gay youths. (AP Photo/Ind. Bureau of Motor Vehicles via The Indianapolis Star) / AP

Some $25 from sales of each $40 plate goes to the group serving lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth. The Indianapolis-based organization operates an activity center, helps develop Gay Straight Alliances in high schools and assists communities in forming youth services. The group serves about 1,400 youths and young adults ages 12 to 21, The Indianapolis Star reports in a Wednesday story.

“All the money will go directly for services to these young people,” Youth Group Director Mary Byrne said. She said Indiana is the second state in the nation with a specialty plate benefiting gay youths. Maryland was the first, she said.

“It’s an incredible way for people to support IYG; for people, especially youth, to know about IYG; and for people to show their pride in who they are,” Byrne said.

The Youth Group sued the state in 2010 after the BMV turned down its request for a specialty plate in 2008 and 2009. The Youth Group alleged the BMV used arbitrary and unconstitutional standards in deciding whether to approve plates for nonprofit groups. Lubsen said the Youth Group was rejected because of concerns that it did not have statewide impact and did not ensure that funds from plate sales would not be used for salaries.

Both sides later reached an agreement and the lawsuit was dismissed. The Youth Group then applied again and the plate was approved. The Youth Group is one of 10 organizations approved for specialty plates for 2012, bringing the total number of Indiana specialty plates to 104, Lubsen said.

More than 420,000 specialty plates were sold last year, generating more than $11 million for the sponsoring organizations, he said. source – Courier Journal

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