New York Becomes First City to Fine People for Using Wrong Gender Pronouns

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Next time you’re in the Big Apple, you’ll need to know people’s correct “gender pronouns” or face potentially devastating fines.

The New York City Commission on Human Rights has unilaterally updated the city’s Transgender Rights Bill and released new guidance to define gender identity and gender expression discrimination.

According to (PDF link), there are a multitude of ways people can violate the law:

Intentionally failing to use an individual’s preferred name, pronoun or title. For example, repeatedly calling a transgender woman “him” or “Mr.” when she has made it clear that she prefers female pronouns and a female title.

Refusing to allow individuals to use single-sex facilities, such as bathrooms or locker rooms, and participate in single-sex programs, consistent with their gender identity. For example, barring a transgender woman from a women’s restroom out of concern that she will make others uncomfortable.

Enforcing dress codes, uniforms, and grooming standards that impose different requirements based on sex or gender. For example, enforcing a policy that requires men to wear ties or women to wear skirts.

Failing to providing employee health benefits that cover gender-affirming care or failing to provide reasonable accommodations for individuals undergoing gender transition, including medical appointments and recovery, where such reasonable accommodations are provided to other employees.

Violating the law could result in penalties of up to $250,000 for incidences deemed to be “willful, wanton, or malicious”. The law further provides no limit to the amount of compensatory damages the Commission can award to victims.

“Far too often, transgender and gender non-conforming individuals suffer discrimination, harassment, and violence on a scale many cannot imagine,” New York City Human Rights Commissioner Carmelyn P. Malalis said. “New York City does not and will not tolerate discrimination on the basis of gender identity or gender expression. Today’s guidance makes it abundantly clear what the City considers to be discrimination under the law and the Commission will continue to aggressively enforce protections to make that promise a reality.”

As for me, I’m just going to identify as a “meat popsicle”: