This afternoon, the California State Assembly passed SB-403 by a vote of 50-3, while another 27 assembly members — roughly one third of the assembly —  abstained, including AAPI Caucus Chair Asm. Evan Low.

In response to today’s Assembly vote, the Hindu American Foundation’s Executive Director, Suhag Shukla said: 

“Today is a sad day. California has reawakened its racist past in passing legislation that demonizes and targets South Asians and Hindus. 

Fifty California legislators chose to side with anti-Hindu hate groups rather than showing moral courage and upholding the Constitution. When a state legislator pushes a law with the intent of targeting an ethnic community, it’s not only racist, it’s unconstitutional. We will explore every option to protect the rights of Hindu Californians.

To the 27 legislators who abstained and the three who voted no, thank you for standing on the side of equality and justice.”

The bill will now return to the Senate for a floor vote on the Assembly’s amended version, then be sent to Governor Newsom’s desk.