TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Florida legislature is considering two new license plates, images of which are attached here in PDF.
The first depicts the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, head hanging, wearing a crown of thorns.
The second shows a gold crucifix over a stained glass window, with a sunset in the background and the message “I BELIEVE” across the bottom. In December 2008, a federal court in South Carolina enjoined that state from distributing a similar “I Believe” license plate based upon the preliminary finding that it violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The ACLU of Florida is deeply concerned that both the crucifixion and “I Believe” license plates being considered by the legislature would send the message that the state endorses the particular religious beliefs they depict and urges Governor Crist to veto them if they make it to his desk for signature. If these plates are approved, it is likely that the ACLU would file a lawsuit to force the state to comply with the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
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