Geneva votes to ban religious symbols on public employees

www.thelocal.ch | 2/12/1924 | Staff
ditranian (Posted by) Level 3
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Geneva residents on Sunday voted for a controversial new "secularism law", which will among other things ban elected officials and public employees from wearing visible religious symbols.

More than 55 percent of voters in the Swiss canton backed the law, final results showed, despite warnings that it could lead to discrimination, particularly against Muslim women. Some critics think it might violate the constitution.

Read - Canton - St - Gallen - Ban

Read also: Swiss canton of St Gallen overwhelmingly votes for 'burqa ban'

Geneva Canton, which for centuries has been a centre of religious freedom and tolerance, has been striving to replace a law on the books since 1907.

Law - Ambition - Dialogue - Groups - State

The new law's stated ambition is to expand the dialogue between religious groups and the state, and to better define the limits to religious expression in the public sphere.

Supporters say it will help clarify existing principles in the Geneva Constitution to protect the religious freedom of believers and non-believers alike.

Parliament - Text - April - Backing - Geneva

The right-leaning cantonal parliament adopted the text last April. It also has the backing of Geneva's three main religious communities, the Protestant Church, the Roman Catholic Church and the Old Catholic Church.

But the far left, the Greens, feminist organisations, unions and Muslim groups all opposed it, and collected enough signatures to force the issue to a public vote.

Critics - Law - Effect - Islamophobic - Muslim

Critics claim the law will have an oppressive and discriminatory effect, with some condemning it as Islamophobic and warning that Muslim women who wear a headscarf are being...
(Excerpt) Read more at: www.thelocal.ch
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