New York Joins California in Banning Hair Discrimination

braids (Joern Pollex/Getty Images for Lena Hoschek)
Joern Pollex/Getty for Lena Hoschek

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Friday joined California in approving a law banning natural hair discrimination.

In the Empire State, the Human Rights Law and the Dignity for All Students Act’s definition of race-based discrimination will now extend to “traits historically associated with race, including but not limited to hair texture and protective hairstyles.”

“For much of our nation’s history, people of color – particularly women – have been marginalized and discriminated against simply because of their hairstyle or texture,” Cuomo said in a statement. “By signing this bill into law, we are taking an important step toward correcting that history and ensuring people of color are protected from all forms of discrimination.”

The state’s Assembly Bill 07797, referred to the CROWN Act, will go into effect immediately.

The law’s approval comes after California, earlier this month, became the first state to bar discrimination based on hair.

Breitbart News reports:

It was introduced by State Sen. Holly J. Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), and declares that “kinky and curly hair” has been linked to blackness, and hence “to a badge of inferiority, sometimes subject to separate and unequal treatment.”

It also notes that certain hairstyles have been deemed “unprofessional,” adding: “Professionalism was, and still is, closely linked to European features and mannerisms, which entails that those who do not naturally fall into Eurocentric norms must alter their appearances, sometimes drastically and permanently, in order to be deemed professional.”

The Golden State’s law is also known as the CROWN act.

“In California, we celebrate the contributions of everyone – no matter where they are from, who they love, what language they speak, and, thanks to Senator Mitchell, no matter how they wear their hair,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said upon signing the law at State Capitol building in Sacramento.

 

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