For more than 25 years, Lone Grabher, a 65-year-old man from Nova Scotia, Canada has been using a personalized license plate on his vehicle. The special license plate proudly displays his last name. Like every other type of personalized license plates, no one had any issues with it until one, not even the authorities. After all, it was perfectly legal to personalize a license plate with the right approval.
But just recently things seem to have changed as someone seems to be offended by the man’s last name on the license plate and because of that, the Nova Scotia Registry of Motor Vehicles had to cancel the personalized license plate on grounds that it implied a socially unacceptable meaning.
Lone has been using the Licence plate that read “Grabher” for decades now, bure recently someone filed a complaint about and the government seems to agree with the complaints because people can misinterpret the name as a socially unacceptable slogan.
According to a spokesman from the Department of Transportation, “A complaint was received outlining how some individuals interpret [the name] as misogynistic and promoting violence against women,”
What made the situation worse was the fact that there was no way or anything else on the license plate to the denote that it is a family name on the plate. Anyone reading it will simply interpret it based on their opinion on what it meant. This the department determined it was in the public’s best interest to remove it from circulation.”
However, Grabher, who is furious with the department’s decision has decided to take legal action to seek for the cancellation of the order against him because the license plate has a sentimental significance to him. According to Grabher, the license plate was presented to him as a birthday gift from his father and he insists he has a right to use it.
He also thing backing down will give is allowing the department to trample on the right of others as well. “If I back down then they can do this to anybody. I guess the last name doesn’t mean anything to them.”
All Grabher wants is the right to use his license plate and nothing else. “We aren’t going to be suing for damages or monetary compensation,” his lawyer said. “We just want a reversal of the government’s unjust decision.”
Truly, according to the Nova Scotia Registry of Motor Vehicle’s website, while people are allowed to personalize their vehicle license plate if they want to, they are not allowed to do so using some words. Words or symbols that are off-limits are those that are considered to be socially unacceptable, or have been deemed offensive or not in good taste. Also, names or symbols that imply an official authority are also not allowed. However, this the district rule does not say anything about displaying the last name, which is the case here.
While it is true that the surname in question can be misinterpreted by someone, it still remains someone’s last name which means that fact still has to be respected. Do you think he should be allowed to display It on his personalized license plate? Did the government make a good call by ordering him to stop using it because of the possibility of the wrong misinterpretation? Let us know which side you fall on in the comment section below.