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Scales of Justice: San Francisco Board of Supervisors Votes to Ban Height and Weight DiscriminationAired May 9, 2000 - 1:37 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: It is no longer legal to discriminate against short people or fat people in San Francisco. The Board of Supervisors has voted to ban height and weight discrimination.
Phil Mattier (ph) of CNN station KRON has the story.
PHIL MATTIER, KRON REPORTER: San Francisco has always had a talent more for making news. And this week, they took a giant step forward in political correctness.
(voice-over): When the Board of Supervisors passed a new law banning discriminations again -- how can we say it -- fat people. That's right. In a unanimous vote Monday, the supervisors declared it illegal to discriminate against any people on the basis of their race, religion, age, gender Identity, place of birth, and now their pant size.
MARILYN WANN, ACTIVIST: It just levels the playing field, gives everybody equal opportunity.
MATTIER: It all started about a year ago, when a local fitness center put up a sign that a lot of fat people thought was offensive. First they hit the streets, then they hit city hall.
WANN: Well, when you go into a shop and they serve everyone else before they serve you, you are served last. When you sit down in a restaurant and the chair has arms so it is too narrow.
MATTIER (on camera): So what does this means? Are we going to all have to get new and bigger chairs in restaurants?
LARRY BRINKIN, SAN FRANCISCO HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION: It doesn't mean that ever chair would have to armless, but it means that they would have to have some room for people who are large. It is similar to what people need to do for people in wheelchairs.
MATTIER (voice-over): But not everyone agrees. Ruth Dussin (ph), a film commissioner and local political heavyweight, says everyone is on the wrong track.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know what, Phil, I just wonder how far we are going to take this. I mean, pretty soon you are discriminating against people because they are fat, they have blue eyes or white eyes. I just think it's nonsense.
ALLEN: Nonsense or no, there are similar laws in Santa Cruz, California, Washington, D.C., and the state of Michigan.
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