A law in New York prohibits discrimination based on weight and height

largeLast May, on May 26, in New York State, Law 0209 officially went into effect: it is prohibited to discriminate against someone based on physical characteristics. That is why this is a revolutionary measure

In his city New York it’s official Discrimination against someone based on weight and height is prohibited by law. This was decided by the New York City Council, passing a bill in mid-May that has what it takes to create education far beyond national borders.

The bill, which became the Law 0209, incorporates the so-called “Human Rights Act,” the Human Rights Act passed by the New York State Legislature in 1945 to protect civil rights within the country, and provides that weight becomes part of the list of characteristics for which the distinctions are made. prohibited. It is a fundamental law to protect the rights of citizens, which protects against distinctions based on 27 factors including age, religion, race, color, sex, sexual orientation, country of origin, marital status, domestic violence victim status, disability, military status, arrest history, criminal record, of predisposing genetic characteristics and marital status (only for accommodation) . Collectively, these are referred to as “protected classes“, and if you believe you have been discriminated against on the basis of one of these characteristics or characteristics, there may be a valid basis for pursuing a claim of unlawful discrimination.

From May 26, the day on which the mayor Eric Leroy Adams signed the law, weight and height are added to the list of these characteristics: “This day is very important, because with this law it is established that no one should be discriminated against because of height or weight when it comes to employment opportunities, finding a home or accessing public services – said Adams – We all deserve the same opportunities regardless of our physical appearance, how tall we are or how much we weigh. When you’re looking for a home or a job you shouldn’t be treated differently, and this law prohibits discrimination in that sense.”

The bill was proposed by the Democratic councilor Shaun Abreuwho explained that he took up this battle immediately after the lockdown, a period in which his weight is increased by 18 kg causing controversial reactions: “I was recently approached by someone I considered a friend, touched my belly and said ‘we’re getting fat, huh?’ A statement that reflects the toxic culture that exists in the United States when it comes to people who are above the average weight of their peers. People who have different body types are not only denied the promotions and jobs they deserve – Abreu emphasized – but their entire existence is thwarted by a company that offers no legal means to protect itself from this bias. Until today.”

Abreu’s words in support of the law’s approval were corroborated by the testimony of several citizens who attended the Council session, describing incidents of discrimination and humiliation in restaurants and theaters, in the workplace and also during negotiations to buy or rent a apartment. He was among them Victoria Abrahamfeminist and activist who has made the fight against weight stigma a social battle: “I have learned to love myself, no matter what – Abraham said on Instagram, where she is famous under the name @fatfabfeministi – I would love to have the ability to remove people from the grids of food culture and self-loathing, but it’s there a $72 billion industry in this country that focuses on making them feel uncomfortable about their weight. I am really proud of the work that has been done on this law and we will not stop there: until today as well Massachusetts is working to promote body size freedom with the help of Senator Becca Rausch and we hope to see a similar bill passed soon. This is just the first step toward protecting every fat person in the United States.”

The passage of the law represents a significant and important victory in the US, where – according to recent studies – at least 42% of adults have experienced discrimination at least once in your life for weight. Prejudice against fat people has been linked to lower wages, struggles with employment, and negative educational experiences as early as kindergarten.

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