Source: The Local
The cantonal parliament of St Gallen on Monday voted to adopt a bill that would ban people from covering their face in public, including women wearing the burqa.
The bill was developed by a commission from a motion proposed by the Swiss People’s Party (SVP) and backed by 59 to 54 votes, news agency ATS reported.
The proposal bans anyone from covering their face in public if they threaten public security or religious and social peace.
That could include women wearing the burqa and people covering their faces during demonstrations or protests or for criminal intent.
Despite parliament’s support, the ban is not backed by the cantonal government executive, which wants a softer law requiring anyone who does cover their face to reveal it to the authorities if requested.The motion will be further debated and could go to a referendum. In a comment piece for the St Gallen Tagblatt newspaper, editor Andri Rostetter slammed parliament’s decision, saying such a law would be “not only superfluous but also totally unsuitable”.