From Gary Johnson via Ron Nielson:
Reason is going to publish a clarification tonight. Here are some comments that we gave to them.
In an interview with Reason Wednesday, I was asked about a ban on women wearing burqas. The question came in a discussion of Sharia law and its incompatibility with the fundamental tenets of liberty. I answered the question in the context of the fact that, under Sharia law, women have no choice but to wear the burqa, and live under a system of law that not only allows, but condones, abuse of women. In that context, I stated that banning the full-face burqa, as was done in France, would be a reasonable step toward preventing signs of abuse from being hidden. My response was not about telling women what they can and cannot wear, but about protecting them from harm under a brutal ideology under which women basically have no rights.
However, having had time to consider, my response was wrong. As with many well-intentioned ideas, a government-imposed ban on full-face coverings would have unintended consequences and likely result in government overreach. As Governor, I vetoed many such well-intended laws, and on reflection, would in fact veto a government ban on full face burqas. While the law must provide protection for women from abuse, it is clear that banning face veils wouldn’t work, and would be impossible to enforce without infringing on basic rights.
Sharia law is incompatible with the freedoms upon which America is founded, and it must not be overlooked that, under Sharia ideology, women have no rights, and are certainly not free to dress as they wish. Imposing such a system on women under some guise of freedom of religion or expression is not acceptable under any notion of liberty. On that point I am firm. But a government ban on an item of clothing might well have the consequence of restricting, not protecting, freedom.