No American should have to compromise his or her religious beliefs in order to participate in public activities or make a livelihood, unless the compromise is truly necessary. Shamefully, Sikhs and many other Americans whose religious beliefs are not fully understood or respected, are forced to consider that compromise solely for failing to fit a particular image and look a certain way.
I have run very proud of my heritage and story. My grandfather, Amaranth Vidhyalankar, spent four years in jail in the Indian Independence movement in the 1940s. I often talk about his inspiration on the campaign trail. I also am very open in discussing my Hindu faith, and how that informs my concern for the environment, for equality of women's rights, and for equality in gay rights.