The Canadian press
Posted on December 9, 2020 at 4:28 pm
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The Quebec government does not believe that its secularism law violates religious freedom but rather serves to shape it, argued a lawyer today.
It was up to those defending the law known as Bill 21 to come up with definitive arguments for a legal challenge at the Montreal Courthouse.
Quebec government lawyers argued that the ban on religious symbols is very specific and does not violate people’s right to practice their religion outside of the workplace.
READ MORE: The final arguments begin with the legal challenge of the Quebec Secularism Act
The law, known as Bill 21, prohibits the wearing of religious symbols such as turbans, kippas, and hijabs for state employees considered to be in authority, including police officers and teachers.
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Several groups are contesting the law from different angles in the current trial, but they are limited as Bill 21 sets the constitutional clause despite the constitution and protects it from most of the charter’s challenges.
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The challengers have said that the law, passed in July 2019, discriminates against religious minorities, especially Muslim women.
2:17The trial of Bill 21 begins in the Montreal court
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