Should NYC be accomodating Haredis with gender-segregated swimming pools?
The latest collision between the religious laws that govern Hasidic Jewish life and the laws of the City of New York is happening in an unlikely place: A public swimming pool in Brooklyn.What a laughable dolt that man's being. "Equal"? In that case, it should be access for both sexes simultaneously, and they shouldn't complain about mixed company. All that matters is both sexes leading respectable interactions with each other. Hikind shouldn't be helping them on this either, but rather, making clear they should buy their own pools if it's such a big deal to them.
Following a string of stories in local media last week, the New York Times editorial page inveighed on Wednesday against a decision by the New York City Parks Department to continue to allow women-only swimming hours at an indoor public pool in Williamsburg.
The pool had set aside time for the exclusive use of female bathers for the past two decades, but was poised to stop after the New York City Commission on Human Rights, a government agency, warned that the gender-segregated hours could break city law.
Complaints from New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who represents Boro Park, Brooklyn’s other heavily-Hasidic neighborhood, averted the change, and, for the time being, the women-only hours at the Williamsburg pool will continue.
The concession is unique among the city’s many public pools and beaches, and is meant to accommodate the religious practice of Williamsburg’s Hasidic Jewish community, whose members will not bathe in front of people of the opposite gender.
For Hasidic leaders, the women-only hours are a matter of equal access to public services. “It is a question do we believe in equality or not?” said Rabbi David Niederman, director of the United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg, a social service organization serving the neighborhood’s Hasidic communities. “Is our interest to ensure that every citizen should have the opportunity?”
Update: Mark Hemingway at the Weekly Standard notes that there's a double-standard in the NYT's coverage of this case, and how they approach accommodations done for Islamists. And Mark's right that it's reprehensible the NYT won't oppose sharia accommodations even as they do ostensibly object to those done for Haredis. Obviously, the NYT is not fit to make any of these cases.