There is a very heated — and divisive — discussion going on in Quebec these days over the governing party’s proposed Charter of Quebec values, which would see public employees barred from wearing religious symbols in their workplaces. I’ve been writing a fair bit about it all in my Gazette blog, and you can go there if you want to read those posts.
As regular readers know, I am no fan of most organized religions that persecute LGBTQ people and others. And I have stated that very clearly in my Gazette posts. And I do see the cries of discrimination by religious people in Quebec these days as karma — they are getting a taste of their own medicine, and it is bitter.
Still, as I pointed out in my latest post about the subject, I do support the right of religious people to wear their religious symbols — even if they reject me — because the symbols in question would in no way affect the quality of service Quebecers receive in public institutions.
But on a global level — and the world is very much a global village — we supporters of equal rights for LGBTQ people are in a slugfest with some religious organizations.
Which is why I am somewhat conflicted by this debate in Quebec.
Ultimately, as I point out in my most recent Gazette item:
Every great sage has summed up the perennial wisdom underlying the world’s religions and philosophies with one word: Love.
Banning religious symbols is not an act of love.