Thursday, July 07, 2016

NYC Human Rights Commission OKs Limited Women-Only Swimming Hours

As reported yesterday by dna info, the New York City Human Rights Commission has granted the city's Parks Department a limited exemption for gender anti-discrimination rules in order to accommodate religious objections to mixed gender swims at two of the city's pools.  Reserving a limited number of hours for women-only swimming to accommodate Hasidic Jewish women had become a controversial issue in recent weeks, with the New York Times last month editorializing against the practice. However now an HRC spokesman says:
Everyone in New York City should have an equal opportunity to enjoy recreation centers.  After weighing the Parks Department’s request for an exemption for limited women-only swimming hours at two Brooklyn pools and balancing the impact on the broader community, the Commission has granted a limited exemption. Maintaining limited women-only swim hours at these pools will allow all women to enjoy the pool without being asked to compromise their religious beliefs or affiliations and will have a minimal impact on other community members’ ability to access the pool.
The Parks Department though will substantially reduce the number of women-only swim hours to four hours per week.