New Yorkers may be battling illegal migrants for much-needed resources, battling homeless drug addicts to get to work, and battling subway thugs to stay safe, but they can now rest easy: New York City has made it a crime to discriminate against fat people.
On Thursday, the City Council passed a bill that prohibits “height and weight” discrimination “in housing, employment, and public accommodations,” CNN reports.
Exceptions could be made for employers if weight is related to an essential function of the job.
The bill now goes to Mayor Eric Adams, who is expected to sign it into law this month, according to the Daily Mail.
NYC to ban weight discrimination under law backed by 'fat activists.' #NYC #laws#Friday https://t.co/pPDtxfHKZX pic.twitter.com/6tImLFtdMO
— Beverly A. Pekala (@PekalaLaw) May 12, 2023
Shaun Abreu, a New York City Councilman, became the lead sponsor of the bill after he experienced weight discrimination, reports CNN.
“It’s not only protecting people in the workplace from this or in getting apartments, but it’s also about changing culture,” Abreu said.
A “friend” made the councilman aware of the “toxic culture” surrounding the overweight.
“Just recently someone who I considered to be a friend came up to me and touched my stomach and said, ‘we’re getting bigger there buddy,'” he explained. “And it just speaks to the toxic culture that exists in the United States when it comes to people that are above their average peers’ weight.”
If you think the Big Apple might have bigger problems than the plight of those with big waistlines, CNN produced studies that show weight discrimination is misogynistic and as prevalent in our “toxic” society as racism.
“Weight discrimination is widespread, but hits women the hardest – particularly women of color,” the outlet states. “Women considered obese earned $5.25 less per hour than women considered normal weight, according to a Vanderbilt University study. Discrimination based on weight is also comparable to the levels of racial discrimination in the United States, according to the American Journal of Public Health.”
Of course, while people of color can’t change the color of their skin, it is actually possible to drop some unhealthy pounds.
But, with a compliant media to help celebrities such as Lizzo normalize obesity, it’s not surprising that fat people are demanding the same protections as the LGTBQ community.
You were warned not to feed Lizzo after midnight. Now look what you’ve done. pic.twitter.com/qOIuMclGmM
— Emma (@AKfortySlevin) May 9, 2023
On TikTok, fat activist Victoria Abraham, who goes by the handle “fatfabfeminist” celebrated the measure’s passing.
“In New York City, we now have protection for fat people,” she gushed.
She noted that the bill passed with an overwhelming 44-5 vote.
“We did it!” she exclaimed. “I’m so happy!”
“There have been so many people working on getting this bill passed,” she continued. “I have been such a small, small part of it. But I am so grateful to have even played such a minute piece of it.”
“I am so happy,” she stated again. “This bill has made history.”
@fatfabfeministwe actually made history♬ original sound – victoria
But critics of the measure argue that the bill is overly broad and will lead to a lot of costly legislation.
Republican New York City council minority leader Joseph Borelli said it will empower people to “sue anyone and everything,” according to the Daily Mail.
And in a statement, Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO of the Partnership for New York City — an organization that represents the interests of small businesses — suggested that the City Council didn’t think things through.
“The extent of the impact and cost of this legislation has not been fully considered,” she said in a statement, according to CNN.
She noted the testimony last month of fat activists, including Abraham, who testified in favor of the bill at a hearing.
“Testimony at the hearing talked about the problems overweight people face sitting in restaurant and theater seats, bikes having a weight limit, taxi cabs requiring seat belt extenders,” Wylde said. “All of these things could be considered discrimination under this bill and require costly modifications to avoid fines and lawsuits.”
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