Quebec Considers A Law Prohibiting Public Workers From Wearing Religious Symbols
Lawmakers in Quebec are considering a law that would ban public employees from wearing religious symbols at work.
The ban would apply to any public worker in a position of authority — that includes prosecutors, judges and police, as well as teachers and principals.
CBC reporter Ben Shingler said the proposed legislation is unclear when it comes to defining what's a religious symbol.
“[Immigration Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette] said ... it's any item of clothing that has a religious meaning,” Shingler told VPR. “And so there’s no issue around size. You know, like you can’t wear a small cross or a big cross. It doesn’t matter what size it is, there’s just no question — you’re not allowed to wear one.”
Proponents of the bill say its purpose is to provide religious neutrality; Critics however, Shingler said, say the law would infringe on religious freedom.
This kind of proposal has come up three times before in Quebec, according to Shingler, and there will be upcoming hearings on the issue.
For more, listen to Shingler's conversation with VPR's Liam Elder-Connors above.