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CROWN Act on freedom of hairstyles hits the home stretch

The bill prevents discrimination against hairstyles associated with a racial identity, such as an afro or braids.

DENVER — Freedom of hairstyles could be on the governor's desk before the midpoint of the legislative session after the Crown Act on race-based protections on texture and style passed a Senate committee Monday.

"CROWN Act" stands for Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair Act.

Next up is the Senate floor, where it needs to be voted on twice, if it remains unamended, before it's sent to Gov. Jared Polis to sign into law. Democrats have a 19-16 majority in the chamber, and the bill, so far, has collected every Democrats' vote.

RELATED: Colorado's first black TV anchor testifies for bill that would end discrimination against natural hair

House Bill 1048 prevents discrimination against hairstyles associated with a racial identity, such as an afro or braids. 

The bill's sponsors contend people of African, native American, Jewish and Latino descent are denied educational and employment opportunities due to their hairstyles, both natural and groomed. 

"It is a lot bigger than just hair," said bill sponsor Rep. Leslie Herod. "It's about celebrating us for who we are."

> Continue reading this story at Colorado Politics.

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