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Fat people may soon be able to sue for 'weight discrimination' in NYC
Screenshot of WABC-TV video (Featured: Victoria Abraham, a fat activist who advocated for the measure)

Fat people may soon be able to sue for 'weight discrimination' in NYC

New York City may soon give people yet another reason to sue for discrimination. This time, based on their physical appearance.

On Thursday, the NYC Council overwhelmingly voted 44-5 to pass a bill which would protect people against discrimination based on their height and weight, which some advocates have euphemistically referred to as "appearance-based discrimination." Mayor Eric Adams (D) is expected to sign the measure into law soon.

NYC Council Member Shaun Abreu, who introduced the measure, claimed that height and weight discrimination is no different than other forms of discrimination. "Just like any other protected category, like race or gender or age," he said, "this will be a new protected category and a claim that you can bring before the Commission on Human Rights." The bill allows exceptions when either height or weight is a "bona fide occupational qualification" and in instances which pose a risk to public health or safety.

"This law is designed to help those where weight has nothing to do with the essential job functions of a role," Abreu explained.

Victoria Abraham — a 22-year-old "fat" activist who spoke in favor of the measure before the city council — believes that this measure is necessary to protect a population which has a weight problem in general. "In most places in the United States, you can get fired for being fat and have no protection at all, which is crazy because this is a very fat country," said Abrahams, who describes herself as a "fat fab feminist" on social media.

"Are their gaps in this bill? For sure," she continued. "But I think it's the perfect first step."

Detractors of the bill, such as Republican Council Member Joseph Borelli, worry that the new measure will be exploited by those who want to "sue anyone and everything." "I'm overweight, but I'm not a victim," Borelli asserted. He also joked that "no one should feel bad for me except my struggling shirt buttons."

Should Adams sign the bill, NYC will join at least five other major cities — Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Santa Cruz, California; Madison, Wisconsin; and Urbana, Illinois — in outlawing weight-based discrimination. The state of Michigan banned such discrimination almost 50 years ago, and New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Vermont are currently considering similar bans as well.

Tegan Lecheler of the National Association for the Advancement of Fat Acceptance hopes that this trend toward protecting fat people from discrimination will continue. "It's not a health issue," Lecheler claimed. "It's a civil rights issue. This is really about if people are safe and protected and have the right to be in spaces."

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Cortney Weil

Cortney Weil

Sr. Editor, News

Cortney Weil is a senior editor for Blaze News.
@cortneyweil →