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LPGA English-language proposal moves California Senate to act

April 16, 2009 |  2:16 pm

California's state Senate approved a bill today by a 21-15 vote that would prohibit businesses in the state from discriminating against customers based on  language.

The Senate's vote was in reaction to a proposal last year by the LPGA that would require its players to speak English or face suspension. The LPGA was concerned that players who don't speak English were hindering the tour's promotional efforts.

The LPGA backed down after widespread criticism that the policy was discriminatory and aimed at its many prominent Asian players, particularly South Koreans.

State Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) said, "I don't understand the connection between speaking English and playing golf.''

As Times reporter Corina Knoll recently revealed in a story on the Korean players, they have distinctive enough personalities that it shouldn't be too difficult for the LPGA to promote them.

The bill now goes to the California Assembly.

-- Randy Harvey