I had a Saturday Night Live, Emily Litella moment. I misunderstood an ABC story about NYC Commission on Human Rights concerning pregnant women and being served alcohol. I believed the guidelines prevented expectant mothers from being served at NYC bars. It turns out the commission guidelines consider it a violation for drinking establishments to single out pregnant woman and not serve them drinks.
This is a part of large decree designed to prevent gender based discrimination in the workplace, housing and public accommodations. The recently published guidelines act as a legal guidance supporting the New York City Pregnant Workers Fairness Act passed in 2013.
Well it is interesting that I believed that the liberals of NYC would make it illegal for adult pregnant women to purchase alcohol at a bar or restaurant. After all the same do-gooders have already regulated soda size and the mayor has advocated a boycott of Chick-fil-A.
The more I thought about these guidelines the less I felt like saying the Emily Litella line, “never mind.”
From my perch in the Live Free or Die state of New Hampshire, these sorts of guidelines are just the latest example of a government solution looking for a problem to solve. Of course I am not advocating that pregnant women should go on drinking benders. I am just weary and wary of the creation of commissions, supporting legislation, that set about to live our lives for us. Can we not be allowed to freely make our own success and failures? What is the next class of folks that need protection? Legislate what food an overweight person can purchase at the grocery store? Individuals can just opt not to do business with establishments that treat them poorly.
This sort of government knows best always starts in the support of something good.
I remember when I became cognizant of the nanny state. In late 1986 Massachusetts passed its first mandatory seatbelt law. A grass roots effort repealed that law seeing it as a violation of individual personal liberty. I wear my seatbelt always. That is my choice. New Hampshire to this day does not have a mandatory seat belt law for adults. No requirement to wear motor cycle helmets either. People can still choose.
So New York City with their marbled layers of bureaucrats and Democrats have created one more protected class and have served warning to bars and restaurants that the pregnant can do what is already within their rights. The right to have a glass of wine with dinner has been affirmed in New York City.
It looks like the presidential race will be nanny state New York values versus…itself.
Jay Berman is Resurgent writer Steve Berman’s older, and wiser, brother. He lives in New Hampshire.