ACLU: Ala. Christian Forced to Remove Scarf for DMV Pic

Yvonne Allen says she was told only Muslims can wear head scarves
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 31, 2016 5:49 PM CDT
ACLU: Ala. Christian Forced to Remove Scarf for DMV Pic
Yvonne Allen says her Christian faith requires she cover her hair.   (ACLU)

The ACLU filed a lawsuit this week alleging that an Alabama county clerk and her supervisor violated a Christian woman's religious freedom rights under both federal and state constitutions when they required that the woman remove her head scarf for her driver's license photo in spite of repeated requests that she be allowed to keep her hair covered, reports Fox News. Yvonne Allen wrote about the ordeal on an ACLU blog in April, saying her faith "was tested in a way that was humiliating and demeaning." Wearing a headscarf on a daily basis is, Allen writes, an "integral" part of her Christian faith; she says that in 1 Corinthians 11 Paul "speaks very clearly without ambiguity" on the matter.

Allen says that when she explained to DMV staff last December that she is Christian, she was told that the religious exemption only applies to Muslims and was later "ridiculed" by the probate staff, reports Allen decided to take action because, as an ACLU executive director puts it, "The government cannot discriminate between faiths in granting religious accommodations." The state's law enforcement agency allows for religious accommodation for headgear in driver's license photos so long as the face is not hidden. The lawsuit asks a federal judge to allow the photo to be retaken with the headscarf on, and to grant Allen damages and attorneys' fees. (This Christian professor was suspended for wearing a hijab.)

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