A Tale of Two Liberalism? Attitudes toward Minority Religious Symbols in Quebec and Canada

Turgeon, Luc

With Antoine Bilodeau, Alisa Henderson and Stephen White

Abstract

Proponents of restrictions on the wearing of religious symbols in public institutions in Quebec have often framed their support in the language of liberalism, with references to “gender equality”, “state neutrality” and “freedom of conscience”. However, efforts to account for support for restrictions on minority religious symbols rarely mention liberalism. In this article, we test the hypothesis that holding liberal values might have different attitudinal consequences in Quebec and the rest of Canada. Our findings demonstrate that holding liberal values is associated with support for restrictions on the wearing of minority religious symbols in Quebec, but it is associated with opposition to such restrictions in the rest of Canada. Moreover, this difference between Quebec and the rest of Canada in the relationship between liberal values and support for restrictions on minority religious symbols can explain Quebecers’ greater support for restrictions.


Bilodeau, A., Henderson, A., Turgeon, L., White, S. (2019). “A Tale of Two Liberalism? Attitudes toward Minority Religious Symbols in Quebec and Canada”, Canadian Journal of Political Science, vol. 52, no 2, p.247-265.

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