State Unveils 1st License Plate Benefitting Gay Youth

The Youth Group Sued State Over Previous Refusal

Indiana is among the first states in the nation to unveil a specialty license plate benefiting gay youths.

The Indiana Youth Group plate bears a logo with hands in rainbow colors reaching up and has been available since Dec. 28, said Bureau of Motor Vehicles spokesman Graig Lubsen.

Some of the $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 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.

Print this article Back to Top