April 24 2009, 10:27 AM
Kelley Coffman-Lee, a vegan mom who loves tofu, wanted a personalized license plate for her Suzuki SL-7 reading: "ILVTOFU." It's not hard to see how some might interpret the plate as obscene and, as The Colorado Independent (among other outlets) reported earlier this month, why the state of Colorado's motor vehicles department might ban it. As spokesman Mark Couch noted, "We don't allow 'FU' because some people could read that as street language for sex." But now the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado is taking a closer look at the state's basis for denying plates, requesting through open records laws copies of plate applications denied because they were deemed "offensive to the general public," or "offensive to good taste and decency," according to The Denver Post. It could be that the standards are too vague and violate speech protections. The state has banned 2,745 plates and 261 phrases, including "POO." Try to slip something through on the license-plate-generator game here.