Attorney General Backs Religious License Plates

August 8, 2009

Author: Seanna Adcox

Source: The Sun News

Wire Service: AP

The religious license plates featuring the words "I Believe" that are being challenged in federal court allow motorists to make a constitutional statement of their beliefs, South Carolina's top prosecutor said in a memo Friday.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State sued state officials last year after lawmakers passed a bill creating the plates, which also feature images of a stained-glass window and a cross. The group says South Carolina's government is endorsing Christianity by approving the plates.

A decision is not expected until this fall.

In the memo, Attorney General Henry McMaster argued the plates don't promote Christianity over other religions or atheism, just as "Parrot Head" plates don't promote the fans of Jimmy Buffett over fans of other singers, and the Boy Scout plate doesn't show legislative preference over Girl Scouts.