According to NBC Connecticut, earlier this week the Connecticut state Senate officially passed the CROWN Act, which makes workplace discrimination against natural hairstyles illegal.
The bill, which stands for Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair, passed in the State senate in a near-unanimous vote and is now on its way to Connecticut governor Ned Lamont.
The bill is the same as those that have passed in New York, California, Virginia, New Jersey, Colorado, Washington and Maryland; it protects those wearing natural or protective hairstyles from discrimination at their workplace or school and makes said discrimination illegal.
Rep. Robyn Porter of New Haven, who sponsored the bill, told NBC Connecticut that she had been told to “settle on a hairstyle” when she first joined the Senate. “Many of us are judged, reprimanded, and passed over for promotion or even fired for the way we wear our hair to work,” she said. “Conformity is often a means of survival.”
Other members were equally passionate about the bill’s passing. “Unfortunately, when you have hair that isn’t straight and when you have skin that’s Black or brown, it isn’t simply hair. It’s judgment,” said Rep. Tammy Exum of West Hartford to NBC Connecticut.
“I look at the hair of those around me and just accept it as is. It doesn’t speak to their ability, their competency, their performance, or their knowledge.”
Governor Lamont is expected to sign the bill into law, and he shared his thoughts on Twitter, writing, “This measure is critical to helping build a more equitable society, and I look forward to signing it into law in the coming days.”
The CROWN Act passed the United States House of Representatives in September 2020, and now waits for a vote in the United States Senate.
If you want to see the CROWN Act passed in your state, you can contact your representatives or sign this petition.
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