US & Canada

Man's surname deemed 'too offensive' for car number plate

The Nova Scotia government told Lorne Grabher that his name was too offensive to put on a license plate. Image copyright Yvonne Colbert/CBC

A Canadian man's last name has been deemed too offensive to go on his personalised car number plate.

Lorne Grabher says the plate, which he has had for decades, was suddenly refused when it came up for renewal.

Nova Scotia's transport department told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation the plate could be misinterpreted as a symbol of "violence against women".

Mr Grabher said the name is of Germanic origin, and that he bought the plate for his father's 65th birthday.

He started using the plate after his father died.

"I've never once had anybody come up to me and say they were offended," Mr 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."

Mr Grabher said he thinks he's being punished for Donald Trump's obscene language.

During the American election, a video surfaced of Mr Trump saying the words "grab them by the pussy".

The video sparked outrage among women's rights advocates, and Mr Trump has since apologised.

Nova Scotia's licence plate regulations allow the province to refuse names deemed to be offensive or in poor taste.

The province currently bans about 3,100 names.

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