FRANKFORT, KY (WCMH) — A man in Kentucky is suing the commonwealth to be able to use “IM GOD” on his license plate.
For more than a decade Ben “Bennie” Hart used the license plate “IM GOD” in Ohio.
Hart, who is an atheist, told WXIX that the personalized license plate helps to spread the message that faith is an individual’s interpretation.
“I can prove I’m God. You can’t prove I’m not. Now, how can I prove I’m God? Well, there are six definitions for God in the American Heritage Dictionary, and number five is a very handsome man, and my wife says I’m a very handsome man, and nobody argues with my wife,” said Hart.
In 2016, Hart moved to Kentucky, where he wanted to keep the specialized plates.
However a letter from Kentucky transportation officials informed him he had been denied the specialization because the plates could be considered “vulgar or obscene.”
The ACLU and the Freedom from Religion Foundation have both joined Hart to sue Kentucky, stating the commonwealth had violated free speech.
Kentucky officials say an “IM GOD” is not in good taste and could lead to confrontations or to distracted drivers.
While Kentucky moved to have the lawsuit dismissed, a judge recently ruled the case would move forward.
Hart says the lawsuit is more than just about a specialized license plates; it’s also about guarding against the encroachment on a person’s rights.
“I think everybody should stand up for their rights,” Hart told WXIX. “If you’ve got rights, you should stand up for ’em, and if somebody’s abusing your rights, then you should stand up to that.”