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NEW YORK (ChurchMilitant.com) - New York City is releasing a list of 31 various "genders" and threatening businesses that do not comply.
In a move Tuesday the New York City Commission On Human Rights released the list of a variety of so-called genders which fluctuate between male and female, or are a combination of both. The announcement follows an action in December from NYC mayor Bill de Blasio creating the Gender Identity/Gender Expression Legal Enforcement Guide. The mayor's decision was praised by various transgender activist groups, with the executive director of the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund calling the announcement a "huge step forward" and one that "catapults New York City to the forefront of the struggle for transgender rights."
In addition to the list, the NYC Human Rights Commission additionally stated all businesses must acknowledge the various identities or risk facing fines ranging between $125,000 and $250,000. Violations of the gender identity rights ordinance among businesses include "prohibiting an individual from using a particular program or facility because they do not conform to sex stereotypes," "requiring an individual to provide identification with a particular sex or gender marker" and "intentional or repeated refusal to use an individual's preferred name, pronoun or title."
According to the guidelines, those who accidentally use the incorrect pronoun are not legally culpable.
Among the 31 varying "genders" compiled by the NYC Human Rights Commission are "drag-king," "gender bender," "two-spirit," "non-binary transgender," "third sex," and "gender fluid." A city official additionally confirmed the list is not definitive and in the future additional "genders" may be added under the protection of NYC's anti-discrimination laws.
While the city has not publicly released definitions of the various identifiers, the Gender Equity Resource Center at the University of California Berkeley has compiled definitions for the "genders." According to the California university, individuals who identify as "two-spirit" are "American Indian/First Nations/Native American persons who have attributes of both men and women, have distinct gender and social roles in their tribes, and are often involved with mystical rituals (shamans)." Those who believe they are "gender fluid" allegedly undergo "gender identification and presentation shifts, whether within or outside of societal, gender-based expectations."
The move comes as a nationwide debate ensues over so-called transgender rights, with eleven states suing the Obama administration over its order in early May demanding public schools allow self-described transgender students to use the bathrooms that correspond to their assumed gender identity. According to the administration, failure to comply may result in a loss of federal funding.
The lawsuit comes a week after North Carolina sued the federal government for its threats to withhold funding over a state bathroom law requiring individuals use public restrooms which correspond to their biological gender. "This is not just a North Carolina issue, this is now a national issue," stated state governor Pat McCrory. "We believe a court rather than a federal agency should tell our state, our nation and employers across the country what the law requires."
The Catholic Church has clearly maintained its position against the push for gender identity rights, with Pope Benedict XVI proclaiming in 2012 the "profound falsehood of this theory and of the anthropological revolution contained within it is obvious."