Quebec’s religious symbols ban dashed dreams and sparked hate, witnesses testify on 1st day of Bill 21 trial

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A test of the constitutionality of Quebec’s secularism law began Monday amid tearful testimony from Muslim and Sikh teachers who said the law derailed their careers and made them targets of bigotry.

The law, which was passed last year despite protests from civil rights groups and religious minorities, is facing four different lawsuits that claim it violates the Constitution in a number of different ways.

All the lawsuits take issue with provisions in the law that prohibit public teachers, as well as government lawyers and other civil servants, from wearing religious symbols at work.