Man gets go ahead to wear horns in li­cense pho­to­graph

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD - By AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS in Au­gusta, Maine

An or­dained Pa­gan priest fi­nally has got­ten the OK to sport goat horns in his Maine driver’s li­cense photo.

Maine res­i­dent Phe­lan Moon­song said that un­less he’s sleep­ing or bathing, he al­ways wears his goat horns, which serve as his spir­i­tual an­ten­nae and help him ed­u­cate oth­ers about Pa­gan­ism.

But Moon­song is ques­tion­ing why he had to ap­peal his driver li­cense’s photo to the state af­ter ex­plain­ing his re­li­gious be­liefs to Bureau of Mo­tor Ve­hi­cle staff. Plus, he adds, the horns didn’t ob­struct his face.

The Maine Sec­re­tary of State’s of­fice said the state was not fa­mil­iar with his choice of head­dress and had asked Moon­song for more in­for­ma­tion to re­view the is­sue. A spokes­woman said the state al­lowed the goat horns be­cause Moon­song cited their re­li­gious pur­poses and also be­cause they didn’t ob­struct his face.

Maine mo­tor ve­hi­cle staff can hold li­cense pho­tos for re­view if they have a con­cern about re­li­gious head­dress.

Moon­song said af­ter he ap­plied for an up­dated driver’s li­cense in Au­gust and ex­plained his re­li­gion to a mo­tor ve­hi­cles em­ployee, he was told to ap­peal his photo to the Sec­re­tary of State’s of­fice.

He said he pro­vided more in­for­ma­tion to the Sec­re­tary of State’s of­fice. But when he con­tacted the Bureau of Mo­tor Ve­hi­cles in Novem­ber, he said he was told his ID was re­jected, which was news to him.

Moon­song then filled out an ap­pli­ca­tion for le­gal as­sis­tance from the Amer­i­can Civil Lib­er­ties Union, which re­cently told him it was un­able to take his case.

“What I was re­quest­ing should have been ac­cepted ac­cord­ing to what was writ­ten in statute and in guide­lines,” he said.

Moon­song added that he was happy to re­ceive his new driver’s li­cense last week.

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