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‘Pastafarian’ accuses DVLA of discrimination after it rejects colander headgear photo

A man who wears a colander on his head has accused the DVLA of discrimination after it rejected a photograph of him wearing the sacred headgear.

As a member of the ‘Church of Flying Spaghetti Monster’, 51-year-old Ian Harris wears a colander as it is regarded as sacred headwear by the religion. But the DVLA has rejected the photo for a third time, implying it would damage its credibility if it backed down.

The man from Hove of East Sussex told the Telegraph newspaper he was “insulted” by the decision. He added: “Who are they to decide which religions are true or valid. Our religion is a minority but the DVLA is discriminating because it allows people who practice major religions to wear head gear in pictures.

“The letters implied the picture would damage the DVLA’s credibility because the religion has a comic element to it which I found insulting.

“Other church members have been very supportive of my complaint and have said the head gear is allowed in photos in other countries.”

A letter from the DVLA countered: “Unfortunately the decision remains the same and you will be required to make a new application for a driving licence with an appropriate photograph.

“You will appreciate that we must work within a framework set by law and the decisions we make have to be in line with the relevant legislation, therefore, we may not always be able to meet your expectations.”

Mr Harris, who will be on his fourth appeal, remains undeterred: “I will continue to fight the good fight for our savoury Lord. I have checked and their guidelines do not say I cannot wear my colander.” He is unlikely to win, but the publicity is likely to net the religion new followers.

Pastafarianism is considered a parody by critics, but in actual fact it was allowed to be registered as an official religion after a ruling in Poland in 2013.

Its followers have few rules or rituals to follow other than believing in pirates (the nice kind who were peaceful explorers), a passion for beer and the belief Friday is a religious holiday (amen).


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