California governor vetoes anti-caste discrimination invoice – JURIST

Governor Gavin Newsom of California vetoed anti-caste discrimination invoice SB 403 Saturday amidst a rise in anti-caste discrimination legal guidelines and ordinances within the US.

SB 403 would have outlawed discrimination based mostly on “ancestry” and “caste.”  The invoice outlined ancestry as “lineal descent, heritage, parentage, caste, or any inherited social standing,” and caste as “a person’s perceived place in a system of social stratification on the premise of inherited standing.” 

Newsom despatched a letter to the California Legislature explaining his veto is the invoice, writing:

In California, we consider everybody deserves to be handled with dignity and respect, irrespective of who they’re, the place they arrive from, who they love, or the place they dwell. That’s the reason California already prohibits discrimination based mostly on intercourse, race, shade, faith, ancestry, nationwide origin, incapacity, gender identification, sexual orientation, and different traits, and state regulation specifies that these civil rights protections shall be liberally construed. As a result of discrimination based mostly on caste is already prohibited below these current classes, this invoice is pointless.

State Senator Aisha Wahab, the invoice’s sponsor, has but to touch upon the veto. Shortly after the invoice was handed by way of the California State Meeting, Wahab released an announcement on X (previously generally known as Twitter), defending the necessity for the invoice, writing, “We’re defending folks from a long-standing type of discrimination with SB 403.” A number of non-profit organizations additionally shared their assist for the invoice previous to it touchdown on the Governor’s desk, together with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the California Employment Attorneys Group and Authorized Help at Work. 

Anti-caste discrimination legal guidelines have been on the rise throughout the US this yr, with Seattle, Washington changing into the primary metropolis to cross an ordinance banning caste discrimination in February, rapidly adopted by Fresno, California in September.

The caste system is a culturally enforced hierarchy, historically related to India, the place social class passes by way of ancestry. The order of the standard system in India is Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, Shudras and Dalits, who’re located on the backside of the hierarchy. Most students consider the system is about 3,000 years previous.

India outlawed the system in 1950 when India’s Constitution was ratified. Nonetheless a 2018 report from Azim Premji College confirmed that caste discrimination was nonetheless prevalent within the office with higher caste Hindus being considerably extra prone to have safe and constant employment. The report additionally analyzed a examine the place the identical resumes had been despatched out with both conventional Hindu upper-caste names, Hindu Dalit names or Muslim names. Resumes with upper-caste Hindu names solicited considerably extra callbacks from employers.

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