Atheist Sues After NJ Rejects Her License Plate

State deems '8THEIST' offensive

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 19, 2014 6:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – New Jersey has a free-speech lawsuit on its hands after a woman's attempt to score an atheist license plate got rejected, reports NJ.com. Shannon Morgan says it was bad enough when she typed in 8THEIST on the state website and learned that it was deemed objectionable. But when she typed in BAPTIST and was allowed to proceed, she decided to lawyer up. The state is showing a clear preference for "theistic beliefs over non-theistic ones," says her lawsuit.

“This license plate issue may seem like a small matter but it is indicative of a much larger problem—atheists are often treated by the government as second-class citizens,” says her attorney. This is the state's second high-profile fight over an atheist plate in a year, notes Philly.com. Last summer, the president of the group American Atheists successfully appealed New Jersey's rejection of his ATHE1ST plate. (The case should provide some talking points at this weekend's convention in Salt Lake City.)

  (Shutterstock)
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