Ban on wearing religious symbols upheld in Geneva

Over 55% of voters in canton Geneva accepted the law on secularism. © Keystone / Martial Trezzini

An appeal to suspend a provision of a Geneva law that reinforces the separation of religion and state has failed.

This content was published on May 13, 2019 - 15:13

In February, the secularism law was accepted by over 55% of voters in canton Geneva. Among the provisions covered by the law is a ban on wearing religious symbols by elected officials and public servants.

An appeal to suspend this provision was rejected by the Constitutional Chamber of the Geneva Court of Justice and communicated to the public on Monday. The ban on wearing religious symbols remains effective until further notice.

The appeal was made by the extreme left SolidaritéS movement and several Muslim women and focused primarily on "the issue of the ban on working in public service wearing an Islamic veil". One of the claimants is directly affected by the law.

In April, the same court had temporarily suspended the provision after an appeal by the Green Party. One of its elected members at the municipal level wore a veil and had to participate in sessions from the public gallery.

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