Unelected New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation on Friday that puts limits on “gendered language” across the state.
One bill replaces words like “councilman” or “councilmen” with “council members.” Another bill changes “salesman” or “salesmen” with “salesperson.”
Both bills change the usage of “he” or “her” with “they.”
The bill says that those terms are “antiquated,” and says that “jobs have no gender, but unfortunately, many of our State’s laws still use gendered language when discussions professions that are practiced by people of all genders.”
“This legislation seeks to update an Article that is almost a century old and its archaic language is reflective of this. New York has come a long way since 1927, and we stand proudly as a beacon of equality where anyone, regardless of gender, can pursue their passions, and our laws should reflect this fact. Updating this statute reflects the values that we hold here in New York and is reflective of further changes that must be undertaken to make sure our laws truly reflect these values,” the bill says.
Hochul passed similar legislation earlier this month that replaced terms like “inmate” with “incarcerated person” or “justice-involved individuals.”
“In New York, we’re doing everything in our power to show that justice and safety can go hand-in-hand. We can make our streets and communities safer by giving justice-involved individuals the chance to complete their rehabilitation programs and work at the same time. By treating all New Yorkers with dignity and respect, we can improve public safety while ensuring New Yorkers have a fair shot at a second chance,” said Hochul.
Hochul also passed a law that changed ended the use of the word “mentally retarded” with “developmentally disabled.”
“There is no place for the ‘R’ word in our vocabulary and certainly not in our laws,” state Sen. Roxanne Persaud said in a statement.