Judge Stops KY Anti-Porn Group from Sponsoring License Plate Bid

Apr 13, 2011 10:00 AM PST

FRANKFORT, Ky. — An anti-porn group trying to raise money for its cause by sponsoring a license plate motto was shot down by a Franklin Circuit Court judge.

According to the Lexington Herald-Leader the Louisville-based Reclaim Our Culture Kentuckian (ROCK) non-profit organization wanted to sponsor an “In God We Trust” specialty license plate and use the collected money to raise awareness about the harm caused by porn and the sex industry.

The group petitioned for the new plate to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet in 2008, but was denied because the cabinet decided the new slogan promotes religion, making the organization ineligible to sponsor a license plate under state law.

What's more, the lawmakers said the initial design did not clearly identify ROCK as the sponsor.

ROCK then sued the cabinet in 2009, claiming the cabinet had improperly denied the application and said the cabinet's assertion that ROCK was promoting religion was incorrect because it is not promoting a specific faith or religion.

But the ruling handed down this week by Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd said the cabinet followed state regulations when it denied the petition and noted that other specialty plates have a logo or indicate a cause the driver supports.

"The phrase 'In God We Trust' does not indicate to anyone who views the plate that the holder of the specialty plate supports the goal of abolishing pornography and the sex industry in the commonwealth," Shepherd wrote.

Although ROCK's sponsorship was denied, in December the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet announced that the "In God We Trust" plates would become standard-issue — not specialty —  and became available in January.


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