Quebec’s contentious secularism bill banning religious symbols for teachers, police officers and other public servants in positions of authority was voted into law late Sunday.
Premier Francois Legault’s government used its majority to push through Bill 21 by a vote of 73 to 35 after applying the mechanism of closure to end debate on the bill prematurely. The Parti Quebecois also voted in favour, while the Liberals and Quebec solidaire were opposed.
The bill prohibits public servants in positions of authority from wearing religious symbols on the job. Its opponents say the law targets religious minorities while the government argues it affirms the Quebecois people’s secular identity.
The Coalition Avenir Quebec government introduced last-minute amendments toughening the law, making provisions for a minister to verify that it is being obeyed and to demand corrective measures if necessary.