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Pink Alabama License Plate Reads 'NOHOMO'

Pink Alabama License Plate Reads 'NOHOMO'


The State of Alabama's Dept. of Revenue has issued a pink license plate that reads 'NoHomo.'

We've all seen the vanity license plates on cars driving around our hometowns -- sometimes they proclaim the profession of the driver, bear the name of a loved one or family member who gifted the car to its owner, or make some sort of pun.

But one such vanity plate in Alabama isn't earning any chuckles -- the official, state-issued license plate reads "N0H0M0" on top of a pink vanity plate sold to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer, reports The New Civil Rights Movement.

Atlanta facilities manager Scott Johnston found the offensive plate on a black Ford Mustang parked in his office's parking lot, reports ThinkProgress. Johnston told the site he was "first shocked, then angered" that the state issued the plate.

Like drivers in many states, Alabama residents can request a customized license plate for an additional fee. The New Civil Rights Movement reports that Alabama gathers such requests through the Department of Revenue's website, which does not explicitly list guidelines for what words and phrases are acceptable.

Regardless of what those standards are, the "NoHomo" plate (with zeroes in place of the letter 'O') clearly passed the state's verification system. The pink "Fight Breast Cancer" plate costs an extra $50 and benefits the Joy to Life Foundation, which ThinkProgress reports offers mammograms to Alabama women under 50 who may not otherwise have access to such preventive care.

Zack Ford at ThinkProgress talked with a spokeswoman for the Alabama Department of Revenue, who confirmed that each request for a personalized plate is reviewed by three department staffers, who sometimes offer alternative spellings for requested messages. Explicit messages are directly forbidden, and "there is a list of more than 6,000 plates that are strictly banned and will not be allowed on any tag in the state," spokeswoman Amanda Collier told ThinkProgress. These banned plates include "anything explicit, any profanity, or vulgar language."

Collier did not directly address the "NoHomo" plate but did confirm that the state has a review process in place to address complaints about a license plate.

Although the plate in question did not trip any of the state's sensors for "vulgar language," the phrase "No Homo" is commonly used as an antigay epithet, particularly by straight men who want to express feelings, sensitivity, or tenderness without "seeming gay." The fact that the plate appears on a muscle car adorned with a pink license plate makes the message appear all the more intentional.

As ThinkProgress notes, however, uttering the phrase "No Homo" (and a profanity) during a press conference landed Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert with a $75,000 fine last year. When issuing that fine, the NBA explained it was punishing Hibbert for "using inappropriate and vulgar language," according to ESPN.

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