A New York City bill that passed Thursday would outlaw discrimination against fat people.
The legislation passed in a 44-5 vote by the City Council Thursday makes it illegal to factor physical characteristics like height and weight into hiring practices, housing or in public accommodation, according to The Hill.
In NYC, we pride ourselves on our diversity.
Together, we’ll build an inclusive world that celebrates our differences. pic.twitter.com/1HhlmpU3uP
— Council Member Shaun Abreu (@CMShaunAbreu) February 28, 2023
The appearance-based characteristics are now among the legal list of protected identifiers, among other categories like race, sexual orientation, gender identity and national origin.
“The law is designed to help those where weight has nothing to do with the essential job functions of a role,” Abreu said. “Just like any other protected category, like race or gender or age, this will be a new protected category and a claim that you can bring before the Commission on Human Rights.”
Activist Victoria Abraham, a self-proclaimed ‘Fat Fab Feminist,’ supports the legislation and testified to the city council earlier this year, according to Daily Mail.
“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,” Abraham said. (RELATED: Feeling Blue: ABC Children’s Show Censored For Fat-Shaming)
The 22-year-old NYU graduate has a degree in public policy and 120,000 followers on social media.
Obesity rates in the United States are increasing. Two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight or obese, according to Harvard School of Public Health. Obesity is defined by a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher. Those with a BMI of 25 or higher are overweight.
However, come councilmen criticized the bill, according to The New York Times.
“I’m overweight, but I’m not a victim,” councilman Joseph Borelli said. “No one should feel bad for me except my struggling shirt buttons.”
Democrat New York City Mayor Eric Adams is set to sign the bill into law this month.
New York City will join cities seeking to impose weight discrimination laws like Washington D.C.; San Francisco, Calif.; Santa Cruz, Calif.; Madison, Wis.; and Urbana, Ill.