Driver's License Photo Bill Offensive to Religious Groups
A state legislator has adjusted the terms of a proposed bill that sparked controversy from religious groups earlier this week.
The bill would have banned head coverings in driver's license photos taken by the state, including hijabs, which many Muslim women are required to wear by religious custom.
Rep. Steve Gottwalt, R-St. Cloud, announced Thursday that the bill will be modified to allow head coverings to be worn "for religious or cultural purposes," the Star Tribune reported.
The new standards would mirror those of U.S. passport photos, but many outspoken religious figures are still unhappy with the wording.
"It's still unclear what the actual amendment will say," Jessica Zikri, a spokeswoman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, told the Star Tribune. "It needs to be more precise."
Muslims are only one of several local groups who have expressed concern over the new bill. Others include Jewish and Amish groups, who also wear head coverings as a religious practice.
Gottwalt defended his bill in a press release, saying it "is not intended to offend any person or group of people."