California state lawmaker proposes bill to make political affiliation a protected class

California state lawmaker proposes bill to make political affiliation a protected class
© Calif. State Sen. Melissa Melendez

A Republican California state senator on Tuesday introduced legislation that would make political affiliation a protected class under California's anti-discrimination laws, billing it as a way to fight "cancel culture."

State Sen. Melissa Melendez's (R) proposal, known as the Diversity of Thought Act, would amend the Fair Employment and Housing Act to prohibit political bias discrimination when California residents are applying for jobs or seeking housing.

"It is unfathomable to me that corporations and members of the public would ruin a person’s career, business and family because of their political ideology," said Melendez, who was elected to California’s 28th Senate District in May.

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"Free speech covers all speech, not just that with which you agree," she added.

Melendez also introduced another bill that would amend the state's education code to protect school children from harassment or bullying over their political views.

"Cancel culture and the efforts to silence differing opinions and voices should be a growing concern for all of us," Melendez said.

She added, "A climate of intolerance has been established and has stifled healthy and normal debate. Anyone who values their own freedom of speech should be concerned. This cannot and should not be allowed to continue."