Pastafarian fights for his right to wear a colander on his head in driving licence photo

Canadian man appalled that he will not be given a driver’s licence if he wears his pasta strainer religious headgear in the photo

Zachary Davies Boren
Saturday 16 August 2014 16:16 BST
Obi Canuel details his complaint in a YouTube video
Obi Canuel details his complaint in a YouTube video

An outraged Pastafarian in Canada has taken to YouTube to decry licence regulator ICBC for not respecting his rights to religious expression by preventing him from getting a driver’s licence because he is wearing a pasta strainer atop his head in the photo.

In a YouTube video posted earlier this month, Obi Canuel, an ordained minister with the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, details a series of actions ICBC took that he claims goes against their policy to affirm “rights to religious expression.”

The ICBC’s website says customers “will not be asked to remove any headgear that does not interfere with facial recognition technology as long as it is worn in conjunction with religious practice.”

Despite this, Obi Canuel claims he “ran into some problems.” He was asked a series of intrusive questions, and the employee was not convinced that head office would approve the photo. His pastafarian picture was taken anyway, and used for an interim licence that would last 60 days as the validity of his controversial headgear was reviewed.

In the following weeks, Canuel called the ICBC to see when his licence would be sent only to be met with delay tactics and suggestions that he get a new photo sans colander.

“After trying to go through all the proper channels, I get nowhere” he said. He told CTV: “The truth is sometimes I have the spiritual inkling to wear the colander and I don’t think ICBC should be making decisions about what kind of religious headgear is appropriate or not.”

The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, created in 2005, was designed as a means of satirizing creationism, and the literal interpretation of religious scripture. It holds that a giant invisible and inebriated spaghetti monster created the Earth about 4,000 years ago on accident.

At least four countries, including the US, allow Pastafarians to wear colanders in their driver’s licence photos.

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