Muslims, Jews to get gender-segregated days at New York City beach this summer

The councilman reportedly has planned to sponsor June 29 for men and July 27 for women by using the money he raised through private sources


                            Muslims, Jews to get gender-segregated days at New York City beach this summer
(Getty Images)

The Jewish and Muslim communities in New York City will witness gender-segregated beach days on the government-owned property during this summer. The new initiative was announced by an NYC councilman Chaim Deutch.

Deutch, a Democrat, reportedly posted a flyer on his Facebook page advertising two separate swimming days for men and women at a beach, which is operated by a public community college in Brooklyn.

Reports state that the beach rental cost of lifeguards and other staff at Kingsborough Community College costs $400 per day. The college is located on the eastern end of Coney Island and is part of the City University of New York, which is the city's public university system. 

The councilman reportedly has planned to sponsor June 29 for men and July 27 for women by using the money he raised through private sources, according to reports. The particular beach normally would have been closed considering it does not offer summer classes on those days.

While talking to HuffPost, the councilman said that his initiative is aimed at benefiting men and women whose religious beliefs may bar them from swimming together. 

Deutch, in an emailed statement, said: "For many New Yorkers, including religious Jews and Muslims who follow modesty laws, there is no opportunity to have a real beach experience. Nobody should be disenfranchised because of their religious observance."

Men play soccer along Rockaway Beach as visitors try to stay cool on a hot summer day on August 22, 2017 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Getty Images)

"We’re hoping that people will be respectful of their neighbors and not infringe on their fun day at the beach," the councilman added, referring to the adherence of the segregation rules for the two days.

He also added that offering a chance for the men and women from these communities is "all about inclusivity."
"Offering these individuals the chance to have the same experience as everyone else is simply us practicing what we preach ― equity and acceptance," Deutsch told HuffPost. The councilman represents New York’s 48th City Council District in south Brooklyn.

A woman walks along Rockaway Beach on a hot summer day on August 22, 2017 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Getty Images)

Reports state that the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) does not agree with the councilman about his gender segregation initiative on public beaches.

The NYCLU's executive director Donna Lieberman, while talking to the New York Post, said: "People don’t have the right to impose gender discrimination on a city beach simply because it’s mandated by their religion."

The New York City law prohibits gender discrimination in public spaces, however, there are some exceptions in certain cases. Two swimming pools in Brooklyn have been offering gender-segregated swimming hours for over 20 years in an attempt to the region's large Hasidic population.