ACN Religious Freedom Report 2014: France „Worrying”

The Aid to the Church in Need Religious Freedom Report 2014 states inter alia about France: "With regard to freedom of expression, in August 2012 the local council in Broue, near Chartres, ordered the removal of a steel cross over the entrance to the local cemetery, justifying its decision on the grounds that it was a public building, on which religious symbols were not permitted under the state policy of laicité." "The major source of controversy within society was the Taubira Bill, proposing the legalisation of same-sex ‘marriages’ and rights of adoption for same-sex couples. The law was finally approved by the French Parliament on 23rd April (..) and promulgated on 23rd May 2013, (...) after gaining approval from the Constitutional Council." "At the start of the school year 2012-2013, on the orders of the education minister, Vincent Peillon, a so-called “Charte de la laïcité” or “charter of secularism” was affixed – “with a certain solemnity”, as he himself had officially recommended – on the walls of all French state schools. It contains 15 articles(...) Article 12 of the “Charte” asserts that “no pupil may invoke a religious or political conviction in order to challenge the right of the teacher to address a topic that is part of the syllabus”. It thereby pre-empts any possibility of challenging ethically sensitive issues such as abortion, divorce, homosexual marriage, gender identity or euthanasia." "By 2015 it is moreover planned to introduce courses on “secular morality”, initially for school students, but this political educational project might also be extended to include adults”. Observatory’s Summary of the entire Report: Link to the full report:
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