In a historic move, Seattle, on Tuesday, 21 February, became the first city in the United States (US) to explicitly ban caste discrimination.
The council members voted 6-1 in favour of the ordinance outlawing caste discrimination. Two council members were absent from the meeting.
The proposed ordinance officially adds caste to its civil rights laws, prohibit discrimination on the basis of caste and also include protection against discriminatory practices in public spaces, places of employment, housing and contracting.
The ordinance was introduced by Kshama Sawant, the only Indian American on the council.
"It’s official: our movement has WON a historic, first-in-the-nation ban on caste discrimination in Seattle! Now we need to build a movement to spread this victory around the country," Sawant tweeted afterwards.
Many people, mostly Indian Americans, had gathered in the city hall to support the ordinance. They were carrying posters and chanted slogans.
"This historic decision will have far-reaching implications for the oppressed castes in the States, and everywhere that the evils of caste have spread," said the non-profit group Ambedkar International Center in a statement.