What is the California Religious Freedom Act?
The California Religious Freedom Act (SB 31) will aid in CLUE’s Sacred Resistance and Sanctuary work. SB-31 Prohibits any “state or local agency or public employee from providing or disclosing to the federal government personal information regarding a person’s religious beliefs, practices, or affiliation” when this information would be used for comprising a database tracking the religious values and identifications of individuals within the state of California (SB 31, 2016). SB 31 also prohibits any state agency from using their resources to assist with any government program(s) that seek to compile a religious affiliation database (Sb 31, 2016).
State and local agencies would not be allowed to collect any personal data about individuals regarding their religious affiliation, beliefs or practices. Law enforcement agencies would also be prohibited from using any of their resources to assist in any federal religious registration acts (SB 31, 2016).
What will happen when it becomes law?
This bill will terminate any existing collection or databases of information regarding the religious affiliations, practices or beliefs of any individuals.
This bill is in response to the current Islamophobia which has undertaken the U.S. under the current federal government. It would add further safeguards for individuals of all religious affiliations to privacy, security and freedom to believe and worship as they wish. This act would also decrease discrimination based on religious affiliation by eliminating this information from state databases.
What is the current standing of this act?
On April 3, 2017, SB-31 was adopted as an urgency clause and passed through the Senate with 36 ayes and 0 noes. It was then ordered to the Assembly where it is currently being held at the desk. There is currently no set date for the Assembly’s first reading of the bill, but it is estimated that it will be read towards the end of May. To keep up to date with the current status of the bill, click here.
What can we do to support it?
Write to, call, or email your local assembly member who represents your district and ask them to vote “YES” on SB-31. Explain the urgency of this bill for your own community and how their constituents will directly benefit from this bill. Click here to find your local legislative representative. It is vital that only assembly members be called as the Senate has already voted.
In addition, you can add your name to the following petitions:
- The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s petition in support of SB-31. Click here to sign. This petition allows you to send a personal letter to your assembly member who represents you.
- The Credo petition for SB-31. Click here to sign.
- The Courage Campaign’s petition in support of the bill. Click here to sign.