America is regressing.
A Brooklyn city lawmaker is sponsoring sex-segregated beach days to give his Jewish and Muslim constituents an opportunity to enjoy the seaside.
City Councilman Chaim Deutsch announced the first ever “Southern Brooklyn Beach Day,” with separate dates for men and women by the sandy spot behind Kingsborough Community College.
“A lot of people are disenfranchised for religious reasons,” the Democrat said. “They don’t use the beach because they don’t go mixed swimming. This is to give those people an opportunity for a day out at the beach.”
Deutsch, who is an observant Jew, plans to pay to rent the space by the publicly financed community college, he said. The permit fee, which has not been determined, will be paid for by private donations.
Men and boys can go from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. on June 29. Women and girls can go for the same time period on July 27. If necessary, a rain date will be announced.
Visitors will be allowed to park by the school for free.
“Enjoy a private day in the sun and sand at the beautiful, secluded beach at Kingsborough Community College,” a flyer publicizing the event reads.
But sorting out the legality of the event may be no day at the beach for the city’s Human Rights Commission. City law says public accommodations cannot exclude people based on sex unless there’s an exemption “based on bona fide consideration of public policy.”
Deutsch said he believes that will not be an issue because he intends to pay for the city permits required to host the event.
That law was a matter of contention at a public swimming pool in Williamsburg. After years of segregated swimming times, the human rights agency ordered the Parks Department to stop that practice after an anonymous complaint was filed.
The separate swimming hours were reinstated after community protests. For reasons of modesty, men and women who are Orthodox Jews and Muslims do not swim together at the same time.
Will the Jews and Muslims also be segregated?