"I am extremely disappointed the majority party in the Senate Judiciary Committee could not see past their partisan blinders to protect everyday Californians from becoming victims of discrimination due to their party affiliations and beliefs," said Melendez. "If current laws fail to protect political affiliation and political belief discrimination, it will only reinforce the actions of teachers and employers to victimize more California students and employees."
Specifically, Senate Bill 238 changed California anti-discrimination laws by adding political beliefs and affiliation as protected classes. If enacted, the bill would protect Californians from discrimination based on political beliefs or affiliation. Senate Bill 249, if enacted, would prohibit discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying in schools based upon a student’s political affiliation or beliefs.
"Indoctrination should not be the methods used in our schools and blacklists should not become commonplace in our local economies and workplaces," said Melendez. "Cancel culture and bullying completely defy the very nature of our Constitution and our protected rights of freedom of speech and expression. Political censorship and cancellation serves no purpose in our democratic society except to silence the opinions of others who may disagree."
SB 238 and SB 249 failed on a party line vote with only Senator Borgeas (R-Fresno) and Senator Jones (R-Santee) voting in favor of the measure.
"The voices of millions might be silenced by the failure to pass these bills today," Melendez went on to say. "These bills are not just about the group of people being targeted today; it’s also about protecting the people who might be targeted tomorrow."