The Senate considered on April 7 a part of the bill on “separatism” devoted to sports. Minister Roxana Maracineanu was against the amendment on “conspicuous religious symbols” proposed by a senator LR.
On the evening of April 7, the Senate – the majority of which is right-center-right – hardened the part of the bill against “separatism” devoted to sports, notably by voting an LR amendment aimed at prohibiting the wearing of the veil. in official national competitions.
The flagship measure concerning sports in the bill confirming respect for the principles of the Republic is the creation of a “republican engagement contract” that must be signed by sports federations and associations.
If the wearing of the veil is not explicitly prohibited, we could see the emergence of community sports clubs promoting certain religious symbols.
In the hemicycle, the Senate adopted several amendments to harden this component, despite “unfavorable” opinions from the Minister in charge of Sports Roxana Maracineanu. The deputies will nevertheless be able to come back to these provisions in the continuation of the parliamentary shuttle.
The Minister of Sports wants the “principle of secularism” to prevail, and not that of “neutrality”
The Senate thus voted by 183 votes for and 137 against an amendment carried by Michel Savin (LR) which provides for the prohibition of the “wearing of conspicuous religious symbols” in competitions organized by sports federations. “If the wearing of the veil is not explicitly prohibited, we could see the emergence of community sports clubs promoting certain religious symbols,” said Michel Savin.
“We would like to preserve the fact that the practice of the population is considered as a public space where the principle of secularism is essential, and not that of neutrality”, declared Roxana Maracineanu. “For sports competitions, especially those shown on television, we will work on this subject,” she continued, specifying that she did not “wish to include it in the law”.
Another amendment by Michel Savin provides that the statutes of approved sports federations “specifically mention the prohibition of all forms of religious propaganda and proselytism”. An amendment by the senator from Isère was also adopted asking the federations – within the framework of the republican contract of engagement – to denounce “any fact contrary to the principles of sport, and any attack on secularism or physical integrity and legal status of persons noted or brought to its attention ”.
With a favorable opinion from the government this time, a technical amendment was also voted aimed at clarifying the relations between federations and professional leagues and clarifying the role of the leagues in promoting the objectives of the Republican engagement contract. Roxana Maracineanu welcomed the “consensus” found with the sports movement on this “essential” subject.
On April 8, the Senate will continue its first reading examination of the bill with the section devoted to worship.