NewsNorthern Kentucky


Want MATT6-9 on your Kentucky custom license plate? You don't have a prayer

Posted at 4:42 PM, Feb 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-23 18:42:38-05

AUGUSTA, Ky. -A Kentucky family tried to get a Bible verse on one of its cars’ license plate, but the state transportation department said no.

The reason they gave: custom license plates can not be religious.

But here's the twist: the family's other car says "PRAYIN" on the plate.

Ginger Colemire said she wanted a license plate that expressed who she was.

"My faith is everything to me," Colemire said.

And that's why she chose “MATT6-9” to represent her favorite chapters in the Bible.

Matthew 6:9 is the opening verse of the Lord's Prayer.

But Colemire said the state sent her an email on Wednesday telling her that her license plate request was denied.

She said she was “angry because …well, and surprised."

Was it because of  sexual innuendo?

"That's not what they said,” Colemire said. “The email was very plain."

The email she forwarded WCPO specified that the plate was denied for "religious reasons." 

We contacted the transportation department for more information. When we asked the reasoning behind banning religious plates, they listed a Kentucky statute that states:

"The group shall not have as its primary purpose the promotion of any specific faith, religion, or antireligion."

Our requests for an interview and further clarification have not been returned. But we did learn that the statutes went into effect in June 2005. So why was Colemire's other license plate approved three years ago?

 "Why would MATT6-9 be an issue because [PRAYIN] is more blatant than a scripture reference," Colemire said.

"It's difficult. It feels like it's not the America I grew up in."

Colemire said she plans to appeal the decision.