Final moment in the long history of the Oregon Garb Law.
The final moments of the 25 year effort to end the ban on religious clothing for Oregon public school teachers. Here, an honoring ceremony takes place at Dasmesh Darbar Sikh Temple in Salem – Oregon's Capital.
Gathered around are many of those who worked so hard to see the repeal become law. The original KKK backed clothing law was created in the early 1920's in a very racist Oregon.
25 years ago a Sikh teacher was terminated from her job for wearing a Turban and Sikh clothing. And upheld through the entire Oregon Court System.
We kept the flame alive for 25 years during which we continued to ask for repeal but the political climate in Oregon was not ready for change.
|Sat Hanuman Singh Khalsa presents an award to Eugene
Granthi Sat Bir Singh Khalsa honoring Karta Kaur Khalsa
|Many of those intimately involved in the repeal of the law.
Legislators, heads of organizations, sevedars.
Here's with the awards, gifts and saropas.
Finally in 2008 a workplace religious clothing law was passed, but contained a exclusion for teachers. Oregon was still not ready to change the clothing law. Finally The Speaker of House, Dave Hunt, introduced a repeal as a single bill to finally put the racist history to rest.
National Sikh, Muslim, Christian and Jewish organizations campaigned for repeal. A young Muslim woman, Saba Ahmed, spent tireless hours speaking to each Representative and Senator. The national press ask for a repeal. 10,000 emails and the impassioned pleas on the floor of the House and Senate ask for repeal. And in spite of a call from the Oregon ACLU that witches would take over the schools, it was overwhelmingly passed.
The Governor signed the bill on April 1, 2010.
|House Speaker Dave Hunt addresses the Sangat on
the Victory for all.
View of entire Gurdwara and the Guru at
Dasmesh Darbar Sikh Temple in Salem, Oregon.
This ceremony at Dasmesh Darbar honored the 20 sevadars who worked the hardest and gave of their time, energy and resources to see that this old racist law would stand no longer.
It will go into effect in one year during which guidelines will be established to ensure teachers can practice their faiths and still remain neutral in the classroom. It was a victory for Oregon and the entire nation. Freedom for all.