NEW YORK — The New York City Commission on Human Rights has announced new guidelines under the city’s Human Rights Law that may impose fines on employers who use masculine pronouns for male workers who wish to identify as women and vice versa.
The Commission released its interpretive guide to the law on Monday, which includes a prohibition on “[i]ntentionally failing to use an individual’s preferred name, pronoun or title,” such as “repeatedly calling a transgender woman ‘him’ or ‘Mr.’ when she has made it clear that she prefers female pronouns and a female title.”
The guidelines state that employers should ask all workers to provide their preferred pronoun, and “should not limit the options for identification to male and female only.”
“Some transgender and gender non-conforming people prefer to use pronouns other than he/him/his or she/her/hers, such as they/them/theirs or ze/hir,” the document outlines.
Employers are also banned from having dress codes that would require men to dress as men and women to dress as women or to require workers to use the restroom that correlates with their birth gender. Businesses are likewise required to offer health benefits for employees seeking to obtain sex change treatments.
Violations could result in penalties up to $125,000 and up to $250,000 for transgressions of the law that are considered to be “willfull, wanton or malicious conduct.”
“Today’s guidance provides bold and explicit examples of violations, sending a clear message to employers, landlords, business owners, and the general public what the City considers to be discrimination under the law,” the Commission wrote in its announcement.
Commissioner Carmelyn Malalis specifically threatened aggressive enforcement.
“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,” she said in a statement.
Mayor Bill DeBlasio made similar comments in support of the release of the guidelines.
“New York has always been a diverse and welcoming city and our laws are designed to protect every New Yorker, regardless of their gender identity,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Today’s new guidelines strengthen those laws by ensuring that every transgender and gender non-conforming person in New York receives the dignity and respect they deserve.”
But not all believe that one must support and affirm a person’s desire to live as those of the opposite sex. As previously reported, Walt Heyer, a 75-year-old man who obtained a sex change operation in the 1980’s to live as a woman for eight years before reverting back to his biological gender, is now sharing his story with the world of how Christ redeemed his life and gave him hope.
“Nobody’s ever born a transgender,” he told the Daily Mail in January. “They’re manufactured as a result of something, a developmental childhood issue that has yet to be determined for many people.”
“All of them have some level of depression, and we’re not treating them,” Heyer lamented. “We’re just cutting off body parts and giving them a new name and a new gender.”
“God designed man; He designed women,” he also said in a video recorded last year. “God will redeem the lives of people who struggle with gender identity issues just like I did. He redeemed my life, and I’ve been free from it as a result of that.”