Oklahoma Man Denied Pro-LGBT License Plate Files Court Petition Against State's Tax Commission

05/13/2015 01:09 pm ET | Updated Feb 02, 2016

An Oklahoma man has filed a court petition after he was reportedly denied a vanity license plate intended to express his support for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

John P. Keefe of Edmond, who identifies as straight and is married, is appealing the Oklahoma Tax Commission's decision to reject his request for a license plate that reads "LGBTALY," which is intended as an abbreviation of LGBT ally, The Oklahoman reports.

In their rejection, the Oklahoma Tax Commission said the plate carries a sexual connotation, which is against the agency's rules, KFOR reports. But Keefe, a certified minister who performs wedding ceremonies for both heterosexual and same-sex couples, shrugged off that claim, telling the news station, "It’s not sexual. It’s about who people are as human beings."

After his plate request was denied, Keefe said he requested a complete list of all specialized license plates approved and denied by the commission on March 3, followed up by a second inquiry for the agency's policy regarding open records requests a month later. Both requests, he said, were unacknowledged.

Existing license plates include STR8SXI, STR8FAN and SEXYQT, News On 6 reported.

He now hopes a judge will intervene and order the tax commission to provide him the documents, according to reports.

Paula Ross, the commission's spokeswoman, told The Oklahoman that Keefe's requests were likely handled by the legal department, and noted, "If we were in litigation, our normal course of action would be to respond to those requests in the course of discovery."

Meanwhile, Keefe has launched an online petition asking the Oklahoma Tax Commission to "end its blatant uneducated, biased, bigoted, discriminatory actions against the LGBT community and its allies." The petition had over 750 supporters at the time this story was first published.

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