Mouvement laïque québécois
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The Mouvement laïque québécois (MLQ) or Quebec Secular Movement is a non-profit organisation whose goal is to defend and promote freedom of conscience, separation of church and state, and secularisation of public institutions in Quebec.
The MLQ believes that ethics and religion should not be united within a single curriculum. It is currently the case as the both of them are taught within the “ethics and religious culture” curriculum. Also, the MLQ grew worried over the last years that some city councils recite a prayer while inhabitants of these cities are not to followers of the religion this prayer is referring to.
The MLQ has been founded in 1981 by parents who were discontent that there was no alternative to Catholic or Protestant religious education within the Quebec education system at that time. The MLQ originates from the AQADER association (Quebec association to ensure the application of the right to be exempted from religious education, or “Association québécoise pour l'application du droit à l'exemption de l'enseignement religieux”) founded in 1974. MLQ founders wanted an association whose scope would extend beyond the right to exemption, for instance by promoting values such as freethought, and aiming at the secularisation of Quebec public institutions.
In 1987, the MLQ collaborated with senator Jacques Hébert to prevent the adoption of a private bill that would have enabled Opus Dei to bypass Canadian fiscal law. In the same year, the MLQ petitioned the Federal Department of Justice to withdraw Bibles from courts so that only solemn affirmations may be recognized as valid.
The association got closer to reaching its goal as bills have been voted to secularise public institutions : the government abandons its project to restructure school boards on the basis of religions ; the constitution is modified to ensure that schools and schools boards can become secular ; the government drops in 2008 the override clause protecting religious education.
This association grants every year the Condorcet-Dessaules award to either a person or an organization whose pronouncement or actions abide to the association’s objectives.