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

Cowichan Valley Capitals defenceman Logan Rands pokes the puck away from Alberni Valley Bulldogs forward Talon Duff. (Elena Rardon/Black Press Media)
Offence sags as Cowichan Capitals reach midway mark

Caps score one goal in three games as pod season continues

BCYP Minister for the Southern Interior, Aislinn Dressler of Fernie said the Youth Parliament being virtual was a great way to learn about how the BC Parliament was operating. (Photo contributed by Aislinn Dressler)
Applications open for Islands Youth Parliament

Applications must be received by April 23

Someone used this counterfeit $50 to pay for items at the Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store in downtown Duncan in April 2021. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Duncan businesses warned of counterfeit cash

Fake $50 passed at Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store

Martin Drakeley, North Cowichan’s manager of fire and bylaw services, says the municipality’s fire halls have responded to more fires than usual this spring. (File photo)
Dry weather, wind leads to more brushfires this spring in North Cowichan

‘Be safe. Be fire smart. Be situationally aware.’

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

A teacher-librarian in Nanaimo was fired in 2019 for checking out an age-inappropriate graphic novel to a student. The discipline agreement was published Wednesday, April 21. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo teacher-librarian fired for checking out too-graphic graphic novel to student

Teacher had been previously disciplined and suspended on two occasions

Aria Pendak Jefferson cuddles ChiChi, the family cat that ran away two years ago in Ucluelet. The feline was missing until Courtney Johnson and Barry Edge discovered her in the parking lot of the Canadian Princess earlier this month. Aria and her parents were reunited with ChiChi in a parking lot in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
An Island girl’s wish is answered as her cat came back

Courtenay family reunited with cat that went missing in Ucluelet in 2019

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Vancouver Island Connector and Tofino Bus is putting a 41-passenger electric bus through its paces in a three-month trial run between Nanaimo and Victoria. (Photo submitted)
Electric bus on trial run serving Victoria-to-Nanaimo route

Vancouver Island Connector and Tofino Bus trying out 41-seat electric coach for three months

FILE – The Instagram app is shown on an iPhone in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Judge acquits B.C. teen boy ‘set up’ on sex assault charge based on Instagram messages

The girl and her friends did not have ‘good intentions’ towards the accused, judge says

Kai Palkeinen recently helped a car stuck on the riverbed near the Big Eddy Bridge. While the car could not be saved, some of the driver’s belongings were. It’s common for vehicles to get stuck in the area due to significantly changing river levels from Revelstoke Dam. (Photo by Kai Palkeinen)
“I just sank a car’: Revelstoke resident tries to save vehicle from the Columbia River

Although it’s not permitted, the riverbed near the city is popular for off roading

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, walks down the street with an acquaintance after leaving B.C. Supreme Court during a lunch break at her extradition hearing, in Vancouver, B.C., Thursday, April 1, 2021. A judge is scheduled to release her decision today on a request to delay the final leg of hearings in Meng Wanzhou’s extradition case. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rich Lam
B.C. judge grants Meng Wanzhou’s request to delay extradition hearings

Lawyers for Canada’s attorney general had argued there is no justification to delay proceedings in the case

B.C. Premier John Horgan announces travel restrictions between the province’s regional health authorities at the legislature, April 19, 2021. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sees 862 more COVID-19 cases Wednesday, seven deaths

Recreational travel restrictions set to begin Friday

Most Read