CA Religious Groups to File Discrimination Complaints Against Boomers

Representatives for the amusement park said the company’s policy is about safety, not race and religion.

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    In this file photo, young Sikhs prepare to march in the annual NYC Sikh Day Parade April 25, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

    Muslim and Sikh groups in California plan to announce the filing of discrimination complaints against an amusement park Tuesday.

    The California chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CA) and UNITED SIKHS will hold news conferences in Anaheim and Santa Clara at 10 a.m. to announce the filing of multiple public accomodation complaints against Boomers amusement parks for allegedly not allowing park attendees to wear religious head coverings while riding go-karts.

    According to a press release issued by CAIR-CA, both Muslims and Sikh park attendees have repeatedly been denied access to the rides.

    "Companies cannot utilize baseless safety concerns to discriminate against thousands of people," said CAIR-Northern California Civil Rights Coordinator Brice Hamack. "It troubles us that every other amusement park is able to make sufficient accommodations to permit women wearing hijabs to ride some of the fastest roller coasters in the world, but that Boomers! has unequivocally denied them access to the Go-Kart rides."

    Some Muslim women wear scarves to cover their heads and some Sikh men wear turbans as part of their religious practice.

    "Boomers! has failed to provide any clear or sensible reasoning for denying individuals with religious headwear requirements access to go-karts," said UNITED SIKHS Staff Attorney Manmeet Singh. "To deny people their religious liberties on unfounded fears is something that cannot and should not be tolerated in today's day and age."

    Michele Wischmeyer, vice presient of marketing for Palace Entertainment, the company that owners Boomers, told the OC Register the company’s policy is about safety, not race and religion.

    “We would ask anybody, if it was any kind of hat, scarf, tie...any headgear is asked to be removed,” Wischmeyer told the OC Register.

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