NEW YORK, May 27 (AP) – New York City Mayor Eric Adams signed legislation Friday to ban discrimination based on body size by adding weight and height to a list of protected categories such as race, gender and religion.
“No matter what we look like, we deserve the same access to jobs, housing and public accommodations, no matter how tall or how heavy you are,” said the mayor, who joined other elected officials and fat-in-town hall bill signings accept support.
Adams, a Democrat who has published a book on reversing diabetes through a plant-based diet, said the ordinance “will help level the playing field for all New Yorkers, creating more inclusive workplaces and living environment and prevent discrimination.”
Exemptions from the ordinance passed by the city council this month include situations where an individual’s height or weight may prevent them from performing essential functions of the job.
Some business leaders objected when the legislation was introduced in committee, arguing that compliance could become onerous.
“The magnitude and cost of this legislation has not been fully considered,” said Kathy Wilder, president and CEO of Partnership for New York City, in a statement.
Several other U.S. cities have banned discrimination based on weight and appearance, including San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and Madison, Wisconsin. States such as New Jersey and Massachusetts have also introduced legislation prohibiting weight and height discrimination.
Tigress Osborn, president of the National Association to Promote Fat Acceptance, said New York City’s ban on weight discrimination should serve as a national and world example.
Osborne said the city’s adoption of the new ordinance “will have a global impact” and shows that “discrimination based on body size is wrong and we can change that.”
The decree will come into force on November 22 in 180 days. (Associated Press)
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