Traverse City Record-Eagle

October 23, 2013

State issues 'infidel' plate to Michigan war vet


Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — KINGSFORD, Mich. (AP) — State officials say they've defused a controversy and issued a personalized license plate to an Upper Peninsula man who wanted to use a variation of the word "infidel."

Iraq war veteran Michael Matwyuk (MATT'-we-ook) of Kingsford says the plate was rejected because officials feared it would offend people. But the secretary of state's office says it was simply an oversight and issued the plate a month ago.

In a court filing Monday, the state wants a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan.

Matwyuk's attorney, Dan Korobkin, believes negative publicity is what forced the state to issue the license plate. Matwyuk has letters documenting earlier rejections.

Matwyuk says soldiers were repeatedly called "infidels" or non-believers by enemies in Iraq.