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Image illustrating section of the Parti Québécois’s proposed “values charter" that would ban Quebec’s public sector employees from wearing “conspicuous” religious symbols.

Valuing freedom of religion: What does it mean?

December 6, 2013 — 

Karen Busby, a professor in the Faculty of Law at the U of M, will speak on the topic of “Freedom From Religion” at the Dec. 11 Visionary Conversations. She shared some of her thoughts with UM Today in advance of the event.


Canadians value freedom of religion. Does this mean we welcome diversity of religious beliefs and expect this diversity to endure? Or, do we merely tolerate various beliefs, especially those held by newcomers, in the expectation that they will eventually assimilate to dominant religious beliefs? Or should the idea of freedom from religion, as embodied in the Quebec Charter of Values, gain ascendancy over both the endurance and the assimilation paradigms?


Karen Busby

Karen Busby, Faculty of Law.

Professor Karen Busby, Faculty of Law, is the founding director of the Centre for Human Rights Research and a member of the CHRR advisory board. Her research is on laws related to sex, sexuality and violence. Animated by a commitment to social change, her current research is on human rights laws affecting lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and trans-identified (LGBT) people; surrogacy contracts; and child protection laws. She has worked on numerous research projects on gendered violence including sexual assault, girls involved in prostitution, sexual expression, and the implementation of civil domestic violence legislation.

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