Published: May 17, 2022
By: Piper Hutchinson, LSU Manship School News Service
BATON ROUGE — The Louisiana House Committee on Civil Law and Procedure advanced a bill Monday that would prohibit discrimination based on certain hairstyles.
House Bill 41, sponsored by Rep. Candace Newell, D-New Orleans, would amend discrimination law to include “natural, protective, or cultural hairstyle.” That would include afros, dreadlocks, braids, and other styles with cultural significance or intended to protect hair texture.
Newell said protective styles are particularly important in Louisiana due to the humidity.
“Hair discrimination is rooted in the belief that straight hair is ultimately cleaner, neater or more professional, while it’s opposite for hair that is textured,” Newell said.
The bill passed 8-6, with two Republicans, Rep. Nicholas Muscarello Jr. of Hammond and Rep. Richard Nelson of Mandeville, voting with Democrats to approve it.
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