Bill to ban racial discrimination based on hairstyles passes Senate, awaits Walz’s signature

The Minnesota Senate on Thursday approved a bill that would outlaw racial discrimination based on someone’s hairstyle. It now heads to Gov. Tim Walz’s desk for final passage.

The CROWN Act amends the text of the Minnesota Human Rights Act and defines “hair texture and hair styles such as braids, locs and twists” as traits that can be associated with race. It’s a provision that supporters say will free Minnesotans to style their hair in a way that reflects their culture.

It passed the Senate 45-19 on Thursday after breezing through the House on a 111-19 vote on Jan. 11.

Previous versions of the CROWN Act, which stands for “Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair,” passed the DFL-controlled House in 2020 and 2022 but did not receive votes in the Senate while Republicans held a majority.

Gov. Walz has said he intends to sign the bill into law.