A Maine man’s license plate could leave a bad taste in your mouth in more ways than one. The state says it’s vulgar, but he says it’s simply based on his love for bean curd.
Peter Starostecki says he’s just a vegan.
“My license plate literally says love tofu. I’m a vegan,” said Starostecki.
He said he he got a letter in January from the state saying he had to get rid of his LUVTOFU plates. State officials say the plates could be interpreted as vulgar because of the last two letters.
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Starostecki says he never intended it to be inapropriate.
“It’s sort of my small little protest to say that I stand for going away from using animal products,” said Starostecki.
He said there are even stickers next to the plate indicating it’s really just about his love of bean curd.
“I’ve never had anybody come up and be aggressive to me, flip me off, tell me it’s inappropriate. Every time I get a comment about it, it’s something positive,” he said.
After the state told him to get rid of the plates, he attended an online hearing to appeal.
“From the beginning, it felt like they sort of had their minds made up,” he said.
His appeal was rejected because the plates have to be looked at without context.
Starostecki says despite his appeal being rejected, he actually agrees with the state that potentially vulgar license plates should be disallowed. And he says he’s not going to press the issue any longer.
Starstecki does think it could potentially be violating his freedom of speech. State officials say it’s not a first amendment violation because plates are state property.
Cook says the state offered him a plate that reads V3GAN. He opted to just go with a standard plate instead.