My Lutheran pastor friend took on the State Department about wearing his clerical collar and won
October 06, 2012
My friend Mark Powell is a Lutheran pastor just south of Indianapolis who just challenged the U.S. State Department and won. He was denied a U.S. Passport because the picture he submitted showed him wearing a clerical collar.
For him the clerical collar on his shirt is part of his daily work clothes and important to the practice of his religious beliefs. When the State Department said he had to change his clothes he recruited a lawyer to send a letter on his behalf. The passport agency backed down and apologized.
Way to go, Mark. He and I worked together in the Michigan Legislature where we were both staff members. He also baptized my grandson Xavier. Here's a tv news story from Indianapolis about what happened: