Failing to use a transsexual person’s preferred pronoun could result in a fine of hundreds of thousands of dollars in New York City, under new legal guidance.
The New York City Commission on Human Rights issued the guidance last month, saying they wanted to combat discrimination against transsexual people in the areas of employment, public accommodation, and housing.
Violations of the guidance could see landlords, employers, and businesses facing civil penalties of up to $125,000, or up to $250,000 “for violations that are the result of willful, wanton, or malicious conduct”.
Violations include intentionally failing to use an individual’s preferred name, pronoun, or title, and refusing to allow individuals to use single-sex facilities and participate in single-sex activities.
Enforcing dress codes that impose different requirements based on sex, failing to provide employee health benefits that cover ‘gender-affirming care’, or failing to give reasonable accommodation to individuals undergoing a sex change would also be violations.
Senior lawyer for Alliance Defending Freedom Jeremy Tedesco said that the guidance, which expands the city’s 2002 Human Rights Law, creates a “speech crime law”.
He suggested there would be a “chilling effect”, as the fines are so high.
He argued that the New York City Commission on Human Rights has “extremely overreached” on the guidelines.
“The good news is that they’re guidelines, so hopefully some pushback can get them to pull back”, Tedesco noted.
New York City Human Rights Commissioner Carmelyn Malalis promised to “aggressively” enforce the new guidance.
In the state of Washington, schools and businesses have been told to allow people to use whichever bathroom is consistent with their “gender expression or gender identity”.
A Senator said parents would be unhappy with the arrangements at schools, while another politician commented that the change had been introduced in an undemocratic fashion.
In the UK, MPs are calling for a move towards “self-declaration” of gender, an ‘X’ option for passports, and for 16 and 17-year-olds to be allowed to apply for gender recognition.
The report, published yesterday by the House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee, makes over 30 recommendations in a wide range of policy areas.
The Christian Institute has warned that although transsexuals are entitled to the same dignity as everybody else, people should not be forced to agree with transsexualism itself.