'Pastafarian' accuses DVLA of discrimination

Updated: 
Pastafarian
Solent

A motorist has accused the DVLA of discrimination after it rejected a photograph of him wearing a colander on his head.

Fifty-one year-old Ian Harris is a member of the 'Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster', and under his religion, which is also known as Pastafarianism, the vegetable strainer is regarded as sacred headwear.

However, the fetching utensil fell foul of strict DVLA rules on driving licence photographs and the authority refused to accept it. Mr Harris has since lodged his third appeal on the matter.

Mr Harris, of Hove, East Sussex, said he was "insulted" by the DVLA's response, which implied that accepting the photo would damage its credibility, The Telegraph reports.

He said: "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 DVLA spokesperson said that rules on licence photographs follow legislative guidelines and are the same as those issued by the passport office.

Pastafarianism offers a light-hearted view of religion, and is recognised as a genuine faith in some countries. It opposes the teaching of some aspects of Christianity, including creationism, and its followers also believe that Fridays are national holidays.