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New York City council member wants gender-segregated beach days

Lydia Smith June 7, 2018

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 14: People relax along the beach at Coney Island on a spring afternoon on April 14, 2018 in New York City. Following weeks of cold, snow and ice, New Yorkers got a taste of spring today with mild temperatures and blue skies. Cold weather is expected to return on Sunday. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

A member of the New York City council has said he will sponsor two gender-segregated beach days for his religious constituents this summer.

Chaim Deutsch, a Democratic City Council member, said he will rent a beach to host a “Southern Brooklyn Beach Day” on separate dates for men and women.

Deutsch said he would pay for the necessary city permits and costs on days the beach would normally be closed.

He said he would fund the event because he has a number of Orthodox Jewish and Muslim constituents who have not been able to use the beach because of their religious beliefs.

“I have a lot of Orthodox Jewish and Muslim constituents in my district who have never been able to go to the beach before,” Deutsch told the New York Post.

The New York Civil Liberties Union said the plan was gender discrimination (Getty)

“They’ve never been able to smell the beach, to walk in the sand. Everyone should be able to enjoy the beach.”

He added women and men of all religions would be welcome to attend the separate beach days.

In response to the news, Donna Lieberman, the executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, said people “did not have the right to impose gender discrimination on a city beach simply because it’s mandated by their religion.”

“It is one thing for the city to provide reasonable accommodation for religious practice, and quite another to limit the public access of everybody else.”

This week, it was announced that New York City is set to introduced a third gender option on birth certificates, under plans supported by Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has backed a gender-neutral option on birth certificates (Spencer Platt/Getty)

The city is set to approve a policy recognising a third gender category of ‘X’ alongside ‘M’ and ‘F’.

The move would allow people who do not identify as male or female to gain legal recognition for gender identity.

During a City Hall press conference on Monday, Johnson said: “This groundbreaking legislation will make New York City birth certificates more inclusive for all and will send a powerful signal to the world that New York City government works for everyone.”

The mayor said: “Pride Month is a time to celebrate how far we’ve come in the fight for equality, and re-affirm our commitment to protecting all New Yorkers from discrimination.

“This proposal will allow transgender and gender non-conforming New Yorkers to live with the dignity and respect they deserve, and make our City fairer.”

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