SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Today the California Assembly overwhelmingly approved the California Religious Freedom Act (Senate Bill 31) with only one dissenting vote. The roll call was left open so final vote tally may change.
Senate Bill 31 will prevent California agencies from sharing data that could be used to compile a federal registry based on religion, national origin or ethnicity.
“I introduced the California Religious Freedom Act to make it clear our state will have no part in creating a registry of people based on their religion or where they were born,” said Senator Lara. “California has a strong tradition of protecting people’s religion and privacy, and I am proud that Republicans and Democrats have joined together to protect basic civil and human rights for all.”
Then-candidate Donald Trump proposed a Muslim registry, and he has not backed away from the proposal since his election.
The California Religious Freedom Act has the support of nearly 200 groups and individuals representing diverse communities.
Under the Religious Freedom Act, state and local agencies cannot use agency money, equipment, or other resources to assist in the creation of any government program compiling a database based on religion, national origin or ethnicity.
Additionally, state and local law enforcement are prohibited from collecting information about an individual’s religious beliefs or affiliations except under specified circumstances.
SB 31 does not prevent any state or local agency from compiling aggregate, non-personal information about religion, national origin, or ethnicity or from exchanging it with other local, state, or federal agencies.