An Australian man who identifies as a Pastafarian— that’s a follower of The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster— is fighting back against the Department of Transport and Main Roads after he was refused a license because he wore a pasta strainer on his head in the photo. Simon Leadbetter, 31, told Nine News that his rights were violated and he’d lost work costing $1,200 in wages because of the decision.
Leadbetter calls himself a devout member of The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and compared his pasta strainer to that of a Sikh turban.
The Department of Transport and Main Roads states that the only religious headwear allowed in license photos is that worn in everyday life as part of a recognized religion. That is to say, if the headwear is only put on for the purpose of the license photo, it is violating picture standards.
Leadbetter plans to continue his fight to wear the strainer for his photograph, stating that “it is not up to a public servant to decide what my beliefs are. I demand that my beliefs be respected.”
Leadbetter is not the only Pastafarian to run into troubles getting license photos. Niko Alm, pictured above, from Austria spent three years and a psychological assessment to win the legal right to his pasta strainer photo. Other Pastafarians from around the globe face similar scrutiny.