Pardaphash Ads
  1. Home
  2. World
  3. California Governor Rejects Caste Discrimination Bill: Existing Laws Deemed Sufficient

California Governor Rejects Caste Discrimination Bill: Existing Laws Deemed Sufficient

In a recent development, California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed the state assembly's anti-caste discrimination bill, asserting that the current legislation already addresses caste-based discrimination. The move has been applauded by a significant portion of the Indian-American community who shared the governor's perspective.

By: Rekha Joshi  Pardaphash Group
California Governor Rejects Caste Discrimination Bill: Existing Laws Deemed Sufficient

In a significant decision, California Governor Gavin Newsom has vetoed the recently passed anti-caste discrimination bill, known as ‘SB403,‘ by the state assembly. The governor’s rationale behind this move is that laws against caste-based discrimination already exist in the state.

Governor Newsom emphasized California’s commitment to treating everyone with dignity and respect, regardless of their background, beliefs, or identity. He pointed out that California’s current laws prohibit discrimination based on various factors, such as sex, race, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, gender identity, and sexual orientation. These civil rights protections are to be liberally interpreted, making the proposed bill unnecessary.

The bill aimed to expand the definition of “ancestry” within the Fair Employment and Housing Act, the Unruh Act, and the Education Code to include “caste” and other dimensions of ancestry.

Many members of the Indian-American community, who had opposed the bill on the grounds that it could unfairly target the South Asian community and Hindus, welcomed Governor Newsom’s veto.

This move was seen as a historic decision by Castefiles, which noted that it prevented the inclusion of the highly contentious term “CASTE” in the Civil Rights Act.

Samir Kalra, Managing Director of the Hindu American Foundation, stated that the veto averted a potential civil rights and constitutional crisis that could have targeted hundreds of thousands of Californians based on their ethnicity or religious identity.

Leading Democrat Ajay Bhutoria expressed gratitude to Governor Newsom for his decision and called it a “momentous development.”

The Coalition of Hindus of North America (CoHNA) thanked all the volunteers, organizations, temples, businesses, and allies that had united against profiling and actively advocated against the bill.

Khanderao Kand from the Foundation for India and Indian Diaspora (FIIDS) welcomed the veto, emphasizing that California law already covered all forms of discrimination and that the bill could have led to facial and ethnic profiling, particularly affecting industries like the tech sector.

Americans for Hindus stated that the bill was not facially neutral and relied on misleading narratives, strawman arguments, and a questionable survey. They thanked the governor for vetoing it.

Deelip Mhaske, president of the Foundation for Human Horizon, explained that the governor’s veto was not necessarily opposition to the legislation itself but rather concerns about divisive groups taking advantage of the movement. He noted that some organizations had used the bill to promote financial interests and divisive anti-India and anti-Hindu sentiments within the Indian community in America.

While the bill’s supporters, including Equality Lab and Senator Wahab, had worked and lobbied for its passage, there was no immediate response to the governor’s veto.

In summary, Governor Newsom’s decision to veto the anti-caste discrimination bill in California was based on the belief that existing state laws already provided comprehensive protections against discrimination, making the proposed bill redundant. This move received both support and appreciation from various quarters, including members of the Indian-American community.

For the latest news and reviews, follow us on Google, Facebook, YouTube and X (Twitter)