Newsom vetoes ban on racial discrimination

In his veto message, Newsom said the bill is unnecessary because race discrimination is already prohibited under existing civil rights protections that “must be liberally construed.”

“In California, we believe everyone should be treated with dignity and respect, no matter who they are, where they come from, who they love, or where they live,” Newsom said.

After the bill passed, supporters began a hunger strike to pressure Newsom into signing it, holding rallies outside the Capitol.

Opponents argued that the law would stigmatize Hindus and people from South Asia, where caste – a social hierarchy with which one’s group is inherited – is historically most closely linked. Representatives of the Hindu American Foundation had earlier promised to challenge it in court. The veto is a victory for national Hindu groups like the Hindu American Foundation and the Coalition of Hindus of North America, which lobbied lawmakers heavily to oppose the bill.

A pair of Republican state senators, brian jones And Shannon Grove, wrote a letter to Newsom on Tuesday asking him to veto the bill. The senators claimed the bill would “not only target and racially profile South Asian Californians, but also endanger other California residents and businesses and jeopardize our state’s innovation edge.”

The bill also received support from two of Wahab’s progressive colleagues in the assembly and amended the law to make the word “caste” less prominent.

Seattle was the first city to pass a race discrimination ordinance earlier this year, and last month Fresno was the first city in California to do so.

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