Success (and trouble) for Arizona Pastafarian’s ID Photo

Published June 2nd, 2017 by Bobby Henderson

Congratulations to Mr. Corbett — Arizona finally allowed him to wear a colander in his ID photo, after many attempts.

“I tried a couple different locations and was met with a lot of pushback and resistance,” he said. “I was scorned at every location I went to, and they put out a memo about me, so by the time I got to (the) fourth and fifth MVD, they stopped me at the door.

“They got angry at me and treated me with such disrespect.”

He recently tried again and, after talking with the location’s manager, was able to take the photo. He received his official ID in the mail Tuesday.

“I was really excited,” Corbett said. “I felt, in that moment, that I won my battle. It was a huge victory for me.”

However, it seems that Arizona bureaucrats heard about this and will try to take the license back:

A spokesman for the Arizona Department of Transportation, which oversees the Motor Vehicle Division, released a statement on the matter.

“MVD license and ID photos are meant to show a person’s typical daily appearance and allow for religious expression or medical needs. Photos are filtered through facial recognition technology and if an error occurs, the photo can be recalled,” the statement said.

Spokesman Doug Nick later added that “we will go through the process to pull this credential.”

So we’ll see what happens.

Whatever the outcome, it’s nice to see people like Mr. Corbett fighting for their rights. The struggle itself is so important.

Our view is that it’s inappropriate for a government organization to make a judgment based on a person’s religion. If the head covering meets the visibility requirements, it should be allowed no matter what religion that hat is associated with.

Sometimes the DMV workers don’t know the rules fully, and that is understandable. Perhaps some of the workers are letting their personal views color their behavior, which is unfortunate but human. What is more interesting is in cases like Mr. Corbett’s, where management gets involved — the actions they take will be very important to watch.

For now let’s give the Arizona officials the benefit of the doubt and hope that Mr. Corbett will be afforded the same rights as members of other religions.

Again, congratulations on the win, Mr. Corbett, and thank you for your effort. And thank you to Pastafarians everywhere, who are fighting for their rights.

There’s a nice article about this at USA Today here.

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