Senator Dahle’s Legislation to Provide First-in-the-Nation Religious Exemptions for Sikh Community Passes Senate Floor

Press Release

SACRAMENTO – Today, a bill authored by Senator Brian Dahle (R-Bieber) to exempt a person wearing a turban or patka, as an expression of their religious belief and practice, from wearing a safety helmet when riding a motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, or motorized bicycle passed off of the Senate Floor.

“Freedom of religion is a core foundation of this country. We, as Americans, have the right to freely express our religion and I believe that right should equally extend to everyone. Any law that limits the ability to express ones religion, goes against what this country is all about. While current law does not intentionally discriminate against certain religions, the reality is that those who practice those religions, are limited in how they can express their customs. Exempting those who wear turbans or patkas from wearing helmets is a simple way to ensure that everyone’s religious freedoms are protected,” stated Dahle.

The 2021 American Community Survey estimated that 211,000 Sikhs live in California, nearly half of all Sikhs living in the United States. Although other countries and our own military make accommodations for Sikhs’ deep beliefs, out of the U.S. states that require helmets, none has exemptions for Sikhs or any other group based on religious practice.

For more information on additional legislation authored by Senator Dahle, please click here.

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