A Canadian man plans to sue government officials after he was prevented from displaying his last name on a personalized license plate.
When Lorne Grabher of Nova Scotia wanted to use a vanity plate featuring his surname, the Registrar of Motor Vehicles denied the application saying it could be interpreted as promoting violence towards women.
“I do not want the government or the province to have the right to discriminate against anybody’s name,” Grabher told CTVNews.
“Where does the province of Nova Scotia and this government have a person with that kind of power to discriminate against my name?”
Grabher’s lawyer, Wendell Maxwell, agreed the government’s rejection of the plate constituted an absurd overreach.
“Government wants to control our life in essence,” Maxwell stated.
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“He should fight for his right to have his plate with his name on it.”
A letter from Nova Scotia transportation administrators said the public could misinterpret Grabher’s plate as a “socially unacceptable slogan.”
“While I recognize this plate was issued as your last name, the public cannot be expected to know this and can misinterpret it as a socially unacceptable slogan,” a rejection letter from Director of Road Safety Janice Harland said.
Grabher had also had a previous clash with the motor vehicle registrar in New Brunswick when he tried to get a license plate that read, “DUI DR.” Grabher won that case after it escalated to an appeals court.
While Grabher faced legal obstacles in two Canadian provinces, his son had no problem obtaining a similar license plate in Alberta.
“I can understand someone being offended by it, you know being upset with it, but just ask. Everyone in today’s society gotta be wrapped in bubble, everybody’s so sensitive about things, but it’s my family name,” Lorne’s son Troy said.
Lorne Grabher says he received the plate as a birthday gift from his father nearly three decades ago and would finally like to display it on his vehicle.
“My father was a very proud man,” Lorne said. “He always instilled in us that we should be very proud of our name… and this hurts.”