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

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has suspended indoor dining at restaurants and pubs until at least April 19 in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. sets new COVID-19 daily record with 1,293 cases Thursday

New order allows workplace closures when infections found

The new 3,500 hectare conservancy in Tahltan territory is located next to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (BC Parks Photo)
New conservancy protects sacred Tahltan land near Mount Edziza Provincial Park

Project is a collaboration between Skeena Resources, conservation groups and the TCG

Mabel Todd, 83, of the Nak’azdli First Nation, leads a group of family members and advocates of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls as they walk along the so-called Highway of Tears in Moricetown, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Province, feds fund full cell service along ‘Highway of Tears’ following years of advocacy

A ‘critical milestone in helping prevent future tragedies’ after at least 10 Indigenous women murdered, missing along the route

Erin O’Toole, Conservative Party of Canada leader, answered questions during a Terrace District Chamber of Commerce event on April 6, 2021. (Screenshot/Terrace District Chamber of Commerce Facebook)
Erin O’Toole discusses Terrace issues during virtual event

Federal Conservative leader answered questions during a Terrace & District Chamber of Commerce event

Tree; Burns Lake library. (Laura Blackwell photo/Lakes District News)
Dragon Tree christened

The Burns Lake Public Library contest for dragon and tree names has… Continue reading

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Ruming Jiang and his dog Chiu Chiu are doing fine following a brush with hypothermia that saw several people work together to get them out of the Fraser River near Langley’s Derby Reach Park on March 25, 2021 (Special to the Advance Times)
Man finds men who rescued him from drowning in B.C.’s Fraser River

A grateful Ruming Jiang says he will thank them again, this time in person when the pandemic ends

Tyson Ginter, 7, is proud of his latest Hot Wheels he recently received by Quesnel RCMP Const. Matt Joyce. (Photo submitted)
B.C. Mountie handing out toy cars to light up children’s faces

‘A lot of times it will be the only interaction they have with the police,’ says Const. Matt Joyce

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a technical briefing on the COVID pandemic in Canada, Friday, January 15, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s ICUs see near-record of COVID-19 patients last week as variant cases double

Last week, Canadian hospitals treated an average of 2,500 patients with COVID-19, daily, up 7% from the previous week

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
UVic, women’s rowing coach deny former athlete’s allegation of verbal abuse

Lily Copeland alleges coach Barney Williams would stand close to her and speak aggressively in the sauna

Librarian Katie Burns with the Fraser Valley Regional Libraries poses for a photo in Chilliwack on June 18, 2019. Monday, April 12, 2021 is Library Workers’ Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 11 to 17

Library Workers Day, That Sucks! Day, and Wear Your Pyjamas to Work Day are all coming up this week

Most Read