Quebec government bans public employees from wearing religious symbols
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Quebec’s National Assembly on Sunday passed a measure that will bar public employees, including public school teachers, judges, police and government lawyers, from wearing religious symbols on the job, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

The bill passed 73-35 despite arguments from opponents who claim the measure would disproportionately target Muslim women who wear the hijab.


The government also added several amendments to the measure shortly before passage, including additional surveillance and enforcement mechanisms. Marc Tanguay, a member of the Liberal party who voted against the bill, said it would create a “secularism police,” according to CBC.

Immigration Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette has argued the bill has majority support from the public.

"I feel like saying finally. Finally, Quebecers have been heard and listened to. Finally, a government that had the courage to act," he said ahead of the vote, according to the outlet.

Sol Zanetti, a member of the Québec Solidaire party, argued that other polling indicates the bill’s support depends on how the questions are worded, with fewer respondents supporting it if they perceive it as potentially infringing on religious rights.

"The minister is making the wrong choice. It's wrong because it is profoundly unjust. It will prevent employment access to women and men who are qualified. Unjust because some women will have to make a choice between a promotion, their career and a profound and sincere conviction," Liberal member Hélène David said before Sunday's vote, according to CBC.

The government passed the bill through closure, a parliamentary mechanism that abridges the typical committee debate procedure and forces a vote following about 12 hours of additional floor discussion, according to CBC.