Newsom Sparks Outrage After Vetoing New Bill

Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

( – On Saturday, Gavin Newsom, the Democratic Governor of California vetoed a bill that would ban caste discrimination arguing that the existing law already covered these situations.

As he stated in a letter sent to lawmakers informing them of his decision, in California they believe that everyone has the right to be treated respectfully regardless of where they came from, where they live, who they are, or who they love. This was why the state already had a ban on discrimination based on ancestry, color, religion, race, sex, sexual orientation, and disabilities. He added that the state law already protects these civil rights and as such the caste system is already covered by the existing law, making the new bill unnecessary.

If the governor had agreed to sign the bill the caste ban would have been added to the current anti-discrimination laws as a protected class. California would have also become the first state to explicitly place a ban on the caste system in the country.

This addition would have mainly targeted Hindu and South Asian communities, as the caste system is a hundreds-year-old tradition by which people are divided based on their ancestry. Caste discrimination was banned in India more than seven decades ago, however, there have been some recent movements trying to get the practice banned in the U.S.

Earlier this year, Seattle made castes one of the additions to the city’s anti-discrimination laws making it the first city to add such a ban. Those in favor of these bans have argued that this will help protect those weaker members of these communities.

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