- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 12, 2015

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - An Oklahoma man denied a personalized license plate supporting gay rights is asking a judge to force a state agency to fulfill his open records requests that he says were ignored.

John P. Keefe of Edmond filed a petition Monday in Oklahoma County District Court, asking a judge to intervene and order the Oklahoma Tax Commission to provide the documents, The Oklahoman (https://bit.ly/1AU1dJy ) reported.

Keefe, who is straight and married, is appealing the commission’s decision to deny him a license plate with the letters “LGBTALY,” an abbreviated version of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender ally. He is a certified minister who performs wedding ceremonies for opposite and same-sex couples.

Keefe wants the records to help support his case that’s set to go before an administrative law judge later this year. He said he asked on March 3 for a complete list of all specialized license plates approved and denied by the commission and asked April 3 for the agency’s policy regarding open records requests.

Commission spokeswoman Paula Ross said the requests likely were handled by the legal department.

“I can assure you the Tax Commission meets all open records requests,” she said. “If we were in litigation, our normal course of action would be to respond to those requests in the course of discovery.”

Keefe said a commission employee told him his request for a vanity license plate was denied because the term LGBT has a sexual connotation.

Nearly 50,000 personalized plates are registered in Oklahoma. Each application is considered by a tax commission staff member and reviewed by a second person. More than 2,100 phrases have been denied.

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Information from: The Oklahoman, https://www.newsok.com

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