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CT State Rep. Emmanuel Sanchez Sponsors Anti-Hair Discrimination Law

CT State Rep. Emmanuel Sanchez

There are many bills up for passage this session of which one really takes the cake: An Act Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair. According to an Office of Legislative Research Bill Analysis HB 6515, Emergency Certification was granted by Emmanuel Sanchez and Robert Sanchez, “This bill makes it an illegal practice to (1) discriminate based on a person’s hair texture and protective hairstyle in employment, public accommodations, housing, credit practices, union membership, and state agency practices or (2) deprive any person of any rights secured or protected by the Connecticut Constitution or the United States Constitution. It does so by specifying that the term "race" includes ethnic traits historically associated with race, including hair texture and protective hairstyles.

Under the bill, “protective hairstyles” include wigs, headwraps, and hairstyles such as individual braids, cornrows, locs, twists, Bantu knots, afros, and afro puffs.

It adds this protection to those afforded under the existing human rights law under the jurisdiction of the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO). CHRO has the authority to investigate complaints of discriminatory practices. The bill also applies to the laws that govern the awarding of agency, municipal public works, and quasi-public agency project contracts.

Not a single individual gave public testimony for this new law.

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