Decrying ‘cancel culture,’ California state senator seeks to make political affiliation a protected class

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California state Sen. Melissa Melendez is seen in this undated photo. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

California state Sen. Melissa Melendez is seen in this undated photo. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

A California state senator has proposed legislation intended to curb so-called cancel culture by adding political affiliation to a list of classes — such as race, gender and religious creed — that are protected under California’s anti-discrimination laws.

State Sen. Melissa Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore) has introduced two bills: the first, which she has dubbed the Diversity of Thought Act, would make political affiliation a protected class under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act; the second would amend the state’s education code and require schools to counter bullying on the basis of a student’s political beliefs, much as schools are compelled to root out bullying on the basis of race, gender and sexual orientation.

If the first bill becomes law, it would be illegal to deny someone a job or withhold housing on the basis of that person’s political affiliation. Landlords could not evict someone solely because of his or her political beliefs; banks and other lenders would be barred from denying someone financing on the basis of his or her politics.

It is unclear if anyone in the state has been evicted or denied a mortgage because of political convictions.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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