The Crown Act Fails to Pass in The Senate
The Bill Protecting Against Race-Based Hair Discrimination Has Failed To Pass
Following a bipartisan passage in the House of Representatives (twice), The CROWN Act—or Federal Bill H.R. 2116—failed to acquire enough votes in the Senate to pass for President Biden’s signature. This is the second time the Senate has failed to pass legislation banning race-based hair discrimination since 2019.
Why is This Important?
The CROWN Act, or, The Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair Act, is a bill that would make discrimination based on an individual’s hair texture or style a federal crime. Sponsored by Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman, the legislation was first introduced in the House in March of 2021, passing successfully in March of 2022 for a second time.
The bill was brought to the Senate floor on Dec. 14, 2022, but did not garner enough votes for the President’s signature, the bill was blocked primarily by Senate Republicans.
Rep. Coleman shared her thoughts on the House floor shortly after the bill was stalled. “I rise today because the Republican Party has once again chosen to stand against civil rights,” she began. “Yesterday Senator Cory Booker brought the CROWN Act to the Senate floor. This bill would ban hair discrimination, including the practice of discriminating against Black people because of the way their hair naturally grows out of their head,” she articulated.
Hit play to watch Rep. Coleman’s full address to the House of Representatives
Yesterday, Senate Republicans blocked the passage of my #CROWNAct — a bill that should never have been controversial in the first place.
This is merely a setback. It is not a defeat. I will never stop fighting for the right of ALL Americans to exist as their authentic selves. pic.twitter.com/whLhz9pZ8T
— Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (@RepBonnie) December 15, 2022
What Happens Now?
With federal legislation stalled again, it will continue to be up to the states to ban discrimination based on an individual’s hair type or texture. Currently, 14 states have enacted their own version of the CROWN Act.
Check your state’s status below:
You can help put pressure on legislators urging them to reconsider passing The CROWN Act by calling your state Senator’s office or writing a letter. The CROWN Act Coalition has partnered with Dove to start a petition to help raise awareness for the passing of Federal CROWN Act legislation. You can find the petition here.