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

North Cowichan councillor Kate Marsh. (File photo)
North Cowichan postpones decision on cell tower placement

But cell tower policy may be developed soon

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks at a press conference Monday, April 18. (B.C. Government image)
New COVID-19 cases tick down on the central Island

New cases held to single digits three days in a row

CVRD offices on Ingram Street will remain closed for another 14 weeks after flooding last month. (File photo)
CVRD headquarters closed for another three and a half months

Building significantly damaged during water leak

Victoria police are asking for help locating high-risk missing man Derek Whittaker, last seen in Victoria April 12. (Courtesy of VicPD)
MISSING: Police searching for Derek Whittaker, last seen in Victoria

Whittaker believed to be driving 1994 red Volkswagen Golf

The IIO is investigating after a police dog bit a man during a traffic stop near Ladysmith on April 17, 2021. (Black Press Media stock photo)
IIO investigating after police dog bites man near Ladysmith

RCMP dog bit man during traffic stop on Friday, April 17

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

..
Abbotsford nurse at ‘breaking point’ pleads with public to take COVID-19 seriously

Instagram post urges general population to stay home, wear a mask and get vaccinated

Alex Mah of Chemainus spends a sunny day at Kin Beach reading to daughter Beatrice Mah. 3. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Vancouver Island’s mini-summer poised to fade

Cooler and damper this weekend, summer-like conditions not likely to return until late June

A native-to-B.C. wild queen bee (bombus melanopygus for those in the know) feeds on a periwinkle flower. (Submitted/Sarah Johnson, Native Bee Society of BC)
B.C.’s wild bees need messy gardens to survive

The year-long nesting period makes habitat a primary concern for wild bees

Nanaimo Fire Rescue investigator Mark Jonah probes the scene of a blaze that destroyed two apartments on Sunday, April 18. The cause of the blaze has not been determined. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Arson suspect arrested after apartment fire in Nanaimo

35-year-old man arrested for allegedly starting fire lived in the complex

A wildfire has started near Gold River, and B.C. Wildfire Service crews are on scene. Photo courtesy Coastal Fire Centre
Small wildfire burning in difficult terrain near Gold River

Coastal Fire Centre investigating, but confirms blaze is human-caused

FILE – Health-care workers wave to people clapping and yelling thank you to the frontline workers during the 7 p.m.-tribute outside the Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver, B.C. Wednesday, April 8, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. nurses issue plea for all to follow health orders as hospitalizations spike

Nurses worried about strain COVID-19 is having on hospital capacity, care

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. The University of Victoria says Williams has resigned effective immediately. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
University of Victoria women’s rowing coach resigns by mutual agreement

Lawsuit filed last summer accused Barney Williams of verbal abuse

Most Read