Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted

Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

The leader of a pasta-centred religious movement in B.C. is reviewing his legal options following his recent Supreme Court loss over his bid to wear a pirate hat in his driver’s licence photo.

Court documents show that Grand Forks’ Gary Smith, Captain of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., filed a complaint with the province’s Human Rights Tribunal (HRT) after ICBC refused to renew his licence because he’d posed for his identifying photograph wearing a tricorn hat. His coreligionists, or Pastafarians, consider it a symbol of their faith. When the HRT decided not to pursue his claim that ICBC had infringed on his Charter rights to freedom of religious expression, Smith petitioned a Rossland Supreme Court judge to review the HRT’s ruling.

READ MORE: B.C. Pastafarian loses Supreme Court fight to wear pirate hat in driver’s licence photo

Finding no provable violation under the tribunal’s Human Rights Code, Justice Gordon C. Weatherill on Feb. 26 denied Smith’s request for a judicial review.

Smith on Tuesday, March 2, said he was “certainly disappointed” by Weatherill’s ruling, adding that he has since spoken to lawyers about potential further recourse. He “absolutely feels [he’s] been persecuted” on religious grounds, he said, noting that federal authorities allowed him to be photographed for his current gun licence wearing his tricorn.

Pastafarians imbue their belief “in the infinite; in the divine; in the ineffable” in the likeness of a flying spaghetti monster dwelling “at the centre of the universe,” he explained, adding that he wears his tricorn in public every Friday as an observance of his faith.

Pictured is Gary Smith’s firearms license, in which he is identified wearing his tricorn hat. Photo courtesy of Gary Smith

Pictured is Gary Smith’s firearms license, in which he is identified wearing his tricorn hat. Photo courtesy of Gary Smith

ICBC, in a written response to The Gazette explained, “We accommodate customers with head coverings where their faith prohibits them from removing the covering, wherever reasonable and possible.”

The Church’s website nowhere mentions that Pastafarians are called to wear their tricorn at all times. However, Smith said he considers his pirate’s hat “a religious symbol, in the very same way that Sikhs use turbans to identify themselves in their communities.”

Smith said he did not intend his court challenge as an affront to any organized faith or religious movement.


 

@ltritsch1
laurie.tritschler@grandforksgazette.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


 

@ltritsch1
laurie.tritschler@boundarycreektimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC Supreme CourtGrand Forks

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vanderhoof municipal office sign on Burrard Avenue. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Vanderhoof council discuss requests from NWRI, airport, BC Wildfire

District of Vanderhoof held their regular public meeting of council on April… Continue reading

The property on which a residential school (pictured) that was torn down years ago in Lower Post is to be the location of a cultural centre. (Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre photo)
Lower Post residential school building to be demolished, replaced with cultural centre

Project to be funded by federal and provincial governments, Daylu Dena Council

To send in Letters to the Editor, email aman.parhar@ominecaexpress.com
Letter: Increased aggression towards staff at Omineca Medical clinic

Dr. Davy Dhillon writes letter on behalf of the clinic

Basin Snow Water Index map for Apr. 1, 2021. (BC River Forecast Centre photo/Lakes District News)
Snowpack above normal for Upper Fraser West basin

Snowpack assessments for early April reveals above normal levels for northwestern British… Continue reading

Four young women prepare to model Magic Wand dresses at a fashion show. Magic Wand provides grad dresses and tuxedos for a nominal fee. (Submitted File Photo)
Nominations available for Cindrella Dreams Program in Vanderhoof

New organizer excited to help graduates with formal wear

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

The corner of 96th Avenue and Glover Road in Fort Langley now has traffic signals, and new “touchless” signal activation buttons. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Busy Fort Langley intersection gets ‘touchless’ crosswalk signals

The new traffic light started operation in April

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

Norm Scott, president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 91, is disappointed the Legion does not qualify for COVID financial assistance from the provincial government. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C.’s pandemic aid package passing Legion branches by

Federal non-profit status stymies provincial assistance eligibility

Latest modelling by public health shows cases generated by COVID-19 infections into places where it can spread quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread in B.C.

Infection risk higher in offices, retail, warehouses, farms

Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller said it would be “very challenging and not very safe” for him and his teammates to play as scheduled on Friday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Canucks’ return to ice postponed again after players voice COVID health concerns

Friday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers was called off after the team met virtually with the NHLPA

B.C. Attorney General David Eby, Minister Responsible for Housing. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. announces $2B for affordable, middle-income family home projects

HousingHub financing to encourage more developers, groups – with low-interest loans – to build affordable homes

Most Read