Seattle City Council considers caste discrimination legislation

Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant makes her case for introducing draft legislation against caste Jan. 24, 2023. Photo: Twitter @cmKshama

Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant, recently on Jan. 24, 2023, introduced new legislation calling for the city to ban caste discrimination. The new legislation “AN ORDINANCE relating to human rights; including protections against discrimination based on an individual’s caste” is the first of its kind in the nation.

According to Equality Labs, a U.S.-based advocacy organization that says its mission is to end caste discrimination, Islamophobia, white supremacy, and religious intolerance, among other things, claims caste in the U.S. may be hidden but it exists both in Seattle and in cities across the U.S.

“We are demanding that Seattle’s City Council vote YES on Councilmember Sawant’s groundbreaking legislation to ensure caste discrimination will not be tolerated. This is an important opportunity for Seattle to lead the nation in caste equity and to honor its history of being a safe space for all,” a press release from the organization said.

“If the legislation is approved by Seattle’s City Council, businesses will be unable to discriminate based on caste in regard to hiring, promotions, and wages,” Equality Labs claims, lauding Sawant for introducing the bill, and added that it looks forward to working with the Seattle city council “to ensure Seattle continues to be a sanctuary for all communities.” Equality Labs has started an online petition to demand City Council Democrats vote Yes on Councilmember Sawant’s legislation to ban caste discrimination in Seattle.



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