French parliament lays groundwork for veil ban

France’s parliament will vote on a resolution aimed at reaffirming the nation’s values – and specifying that Muslim veils that cover the face are contrary to gender equality. The resolution lays the groundwork for a law forbidding face-covering veils everywhere in public.

The nonbinding resolution amounts to a policy statement and is widely expected to win approval in a vote Tuesday night in the National Assembly. The next step will be discussion of a draft law on banning burqa-like veils in public. The government is still drafting that bill, which is more divisive than Tuesday’s resolution. President Nicolas Sarkozy is pushing for a full ban.

Associated Press, 11 May 2010