The French Senate on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a bill barring women from wearing the full facial veil anywhere in public.
If the law is approved by France's constitutional council, it will go into effect next spring and set a range of fines for women, including tourists, who wear the full veil. It also provides criminal penalties for those who force women to wear it, New York Times reports.
Senators overwhelmingly passed the measure by 246 to 1, which had already been backed by the lower house of parliament. The government argues the ban is not an attack on Islam but aims to uphold France's secular values.
French Justice Minister Michele Alliot-Marie told reporters the government would work with religious associations and local authorities "to convince" and "explain why living together in our society means being able to see each others faces," according to euronews.