Council Chair Denounces Head Scarf Bill

Saturday, March 7th 2009, 9:46 am
By: News On 6

Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The head of the governor's Ethnic American Advisory Council says she hopes lawmakers will squash a bill to ban head garments in driver's license photos.

Marjan Seirafi-Pour says she's optimistic the Senate will kill the House-passed measure, but if not, she says the council will ask Gov. Brad Henry to veto the bill.

She says House Bill 1645 will keep Muslim women in Oklahoma from getting a driver's license, because they will not take off their head scarves in public.

She says the federal government doesn't restrict religious head covers for women in passport photos.

Sand Springs Republican Rex Duncan says religious beliefs have nothing to do with his proposal. He says he wants to provide a better photo for identification purposes for law enforcement officers and wants uniform regulations for driver's license photos.

In 2007, Duncan made headlines when he refused a gift of a Quran given to legislators during the state's centennial.