BOSTON (CBS) – The Registry of Motor Vehicles allowed a Massachusetts woman to wear a spaghetti strainer on her head in her driver’s license picture as an expression of her “Pastafarian” religion.
Lindsay Miller fought the RMV to wear the metal headgear as a sign of her religion. The RMV does not allow drivers to wear hats in their pictures, unless it is for a medical or religious purpose.
Miller won her appeal with the RMV thanks to the help of an attorney associated with the American Humanist Association.
“As a member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, I feel delighted that my Pastafarianism has been respected by the Massachusetts RMV,” Miller said. “While I don’t think the government can involve itself in matters of religion, I do hope this decision encourages my fellow Pastafarian Atheists to come out and express themselves as I have.”
When Miller initially applied for her driver’s license, she was denied the ability to wear the colander.
A friend of Miller’s contacted the American Humanist Association on her behalf, and the group helped file an administrative appeal.
Miller was slated to attend an October hearing on the subject, but it was postponed and the RMV opted to let her obtain a driver’s license wearing the colander on Thursday.
The American Humanist Association said Pastafarians believe the existence of a Flying Spaghetti Monster is “just as probable as the existence of the Christian God.”
“The First Amendment applies to every person and every religion, so I was dismayed to hear that Lindsay had been ridiculed for simply seeking the same freedoms and protections afforded to people who belong to more traditional or theistic religions,” said Patty DeJuneas, a member of the Secular Legal Society, which works with the American Humanist Association.
“We appreciate that the RMV recognized the error, apologized, and issued a license respecting her First Amendment rights, and hope that RMV staff will be trained to respect diversity.”