A Canadian man is furious. After 25 years, his personalized license plate with his last name Grabher on it, have been cancelled by the Nova Scotia Registry of Motor Vehicles
following a single complaint.
Lorne Grabher originally bought the plate for his father’s 65th birthday. Grabher’s father taught him to always be proud of his name, so after his father passed away in the 90’s the plate stayed in the family.
According to CBC News Grabher received a letter last December saying the plate would be cancelled because the public cannot be expected to know that Grabher was his last name and “can misinterpret it as a socially unacceptable slogan.”
“I was taken aback”, Grabher told CBC News. “How can you say my name is a slogan when it is not?”
“Where does the province of Nova Scotia and the government of Nova Scotia get the right to discriminate against a person’s name?”
Grabher was even more pissed when he read an email sent to CBC News saying someone complained about the plate.
“A complaint was received outlining how some individuals interpret [the name] as misogynistic and promoting violence against women.”
“With no way to denote that it is a family name on the plate, the department determined it was in the public’s best interest to remove it from circulation.”
“I’ve never once had anybody come up to me and say they were offended,” Grabher told CBC News. “They would look at it and say, ‘Am I reading this right?’ And I would go, ‘Yes.’ And they would go, ‘Is this your last name?’ And I would go, ‘Yes.’ And they would always just give a little chuckle.”‘
The Nova Scotia Registry of Motor Vehicles has offered to make new plate with alternative wording or reimburse Grabher the difference of the remaining cost of the plates life.
With over 3100 words considered offensive on license plates in Nova Scotia, Grabher is determined to not let his last name remain on the motor vehicle’s license plate naughty list.
In the meantime, his son in Alberta sent him another plate to put on the front of his car. Grabher says “In Nova Scotia we’re allowed to put whatever we want on the front of the car.”