Substitute meals for religion not against secularism: French court
Offering substitute meals for students who cannot consume pork due to religious reasons does not contradict secular principles, a French court ruled on Thursday.
In June 2018, the municipal assembly of Beaucaire town prohibited pork substitute meals in schools, saying that it is against the secular principles of the French nation.
Muslim and Jewish communities contested the decision, and human rights associations filed a complaint.
The Nimes administrative court blocked the decision of the far-right municipality in February 2021.
Beaucaire Mayor Julien Sanchez appealed the court's decision, which was rejected.
The municipality can now go to a higher court, the Council of State, but a previous ruling set a similar precedent.
In December 2020, relating to the case in Chalon-sur-Saone in eastern France, the Council of State ruled that neither secularism nor impartiality principles in public services can prevent serving of religion-based substitute meals in schools by local authorities.