Pagan Priest Wins Right To Wear Horns In Driver's Licence Photo
A pagan priest has won the right to wear goat's horns on his head for his driver's licence photo.
Phelan MoonSong, known as the "Priest of Pan", was initially told he could not wear the headgear. But he challenged the decision and has been given the same recognition as other religions.
MoonSong, 56, has been wearing the real goat's horns since 2008 and claims he feels naked without them. He described his beliefs to RT as "nature-worshiping, polytheistic or pantheistic religion which incorporates beliefs and ritual practices from ancient traditions".
When he tried to wear them for new his driver's licence in Maine, USA, he was told they would have to be approved by the secretary of state. He had to submit religious documentation to prove his faith claim was genuine.
MoonSong, who changed his name in June according to Bangor Daily News, told the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) he was an "ordained pagan minister".
But because paganism does not have a governing body to issue such documentation, MoonSong wrote an essay on why his "Horns of Pan" were important to him and his own spiritual journey. He argued his horns were no different to a nun's habit or a Sikh's turban permitted under Maine law.
Weeks later he was told his application had been denied.
But eventually the BMV relented when MoonSong sought advice from the Maine Civil Liberties Union. Earlier this week he received his ID complete with horns fully visible.
"They sent me nothing else or no further explanation. Just received my ID in the mail after my last visit," he told RT.
He said he was hoping to start a temple in his home town of Millinocket to provide a "safe, friendly environment to celebrate and honor the old Goddesses and Gods."