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QUEBEC, November 22, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A Quebec Liberal has donned a flamboyant cross around her neck in a move of solidarity with religious people, whose outwardly worn religious symbols have become the target of the government’s newly tabled controversial secular values charter.

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“I’m not wearing this because I’m Christian. I’m wearing it because it is a piece of jewelry that I have,” said Rita de Santis, Liberal MNA for the Montreal riding of Bourassa-Sauvé, as she walked into work Wednesday morning. 

“If I came in with this scarf over my head rather than around my neck, why should it make a difference? On what basis are you judging me? Please judge me on what I have between my ears and how I conduct myself as a MNA,” she told reporters. 

Before de Santis could finish her comments, her rather anxious-looking handlers whisked her away. 

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The Parti Québécois government tabled its controversial secular values charter, Bill 60, on earlier this month. In a an unexpected move, the bill was renamed with the gargantuan title “Charter affirming the values of State secularism and religious neutrality and of equality between women and men, and providing a framework for accommodation requests”.

The proposed law would make it illegal for government employees to wear “conspicuous” religious symbols such as headscarves, yarmulkes, turbans, and large crucifixes. 

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The Federal Conservative government has strongly criticized the Parti Quebecois’ proposed legislation, saying in September that it will challenge the law if it is deemed a violation to religious freedom. 

The Quebec Human Rights Commission came out last month with a stinging condemnation of the proposed Charter, calling it a “radical” attempt to create a law that would infringe fundamental rights and freedoms, adding that it would not withstand a court challenge.

Religious and pro-family leaders across the country have expressed serious concern about the proposed charter’s impact on religious freedom and human rights.

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