The ripple effects from Donald Trump’s election are already being felt across the country. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that a bill has been pre-filed in Georgia aimed at restricting Muslim women from wearing a burqa or a face-covering veil in driver’s license photos. But, it seems, that might not be all the law will do.
NCRM HB3, as the pre-filed bill from Representative Jason Spencer (R-Woodbine) is known, is an update to Georgia’s anti-masking law, which was originally passed decades ago to make it unlawful for the Ku Klux Klan and other hate groups to wear their hoods or other masks that would protect their identities in public.
The law as currently written only applies to men. This new incarnation of the bill adds the word “she” to the statute to ensure women can be prosecuted. According to the AJC’s report, “Spencer said his legislation was intended to apply to women operating motor vehicles on public roadways, but the wording suggests the restriction might also apply to any kind of public property.”
A person is guilty of a misdemeanor when he or she wears a mask, hood, or device by which any portion of the face is so hidden, concealed, or covered as to conceal the identity of the wearer and is upon any public way or public property or upon the private property of another without the written permission of the owner or occupier of the property to do so. For purposes of this subsection, the phrase ‘upon any public way or property’ includes but is not limited to operating a motor vehicle upon any public street, road, or highway.
The bill is clear to excempt holiday costumes, sports uniforms, theatrical productions, and, of course, gas masks in the event of a drill or emergency.
It’s incredibly interesting, though, that in a state that fought so hard for “religious liberty” when they thought Christians were being targeted over the past three legislative sessions, when arguments claimed that religious observances and beliefs were being curtailed and people of faith were being oppressed, almost no voices from that crowd have spoken out against this proposed legislation yet. (Islam is not a religion, it is a bigoted death cult)