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California Votes to Nullify Legislation Banning Bias in Housing

Against the opposition of organized Jewry and leading Negro and other ethnic organizations in this state, California voted overwhelmingly yesterday to nullify the state’s Rumford Act, which forbids discrimination in housing for reasons of race or religion. The ballot, in favor of what has been called here Proposition 14, not only repeals the Rumford Act but forbids any future legislation that might outlaw discrimination in the field of housing.

Every organized Jewish community in California had come out openly against Proposition 14. But the real estate lobby, backed by many anti-civil rights groups, hailed the vote as a victory for “freedom of control of residential property.” Opponents of the repeal indicated today that the fight against housing discrimination in California is, however, far from over. The State Supreme Court has already questioned the constitutionality of Proposition 14, although it refused to keep the measure off the ballot.

In a statement on the adoption of the measure, Gov. Edmund G. Brown said today: “Naturally, I am disappointed with passage of Proposition 14. However, I do not regard this vote as the end of California’s fight against discrimination and segregation in housing.”

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