Shannon Morgan identifies as an atheist and wants the world, or at least the car behind her, to know it. But the state of New Jersey says no.
Morgan, of Leesburg, is suing the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission for rejecting her request for a vanity license plate reading “8THEIST,” according to a formal complaint filed Thursday with the district court.
But the commission nixed her request, saying the message “may carry connotations offensive to good taste and decency,” according to the complaint.
An Americans United for Separation of Church and State legal team is now helping her sue the commission claiming Morgan’s First Amendment rights were violated.
“The state of New Jersey is favoring religion while disparaging nonbelief,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of the group. “It simply has no right to do that.”
Morgan claims that she was denied a license plate for “8THEIST” but approved for one that read “BAPTIST” and that this “expresses a preference for theistic religious beliefs, over non-theistic beliefs” according to the complaint.
Written By: Elizabeth Landers
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