Street signs apparently segregating sidewalks by gender-specific colors in Kiryas Joel cause controversy

Signs in Kiryas Joel indicate that the sidewalks are segregated by gender-specific colors. (6/27/14)

KIRYAS JOEL - Signs apparently separating genders by sides of the street in the Hassidic community of Kiryas Joel are causing some controversy.

The signs along Forest Road indicate that the sidewalks are segregated by gender-specific colors. While some outside of the Satmar community say they find them offensive, followers quickly took to social media in defense of the signs, saying they are "suggestions" during busy times when thousands are on the streets.

Critics say such gender segregation in public areas is unconstitutional. News 12 went into Village Hall Friday to ask if the signs are being enforced and whether they will be removed, but was quickly turned away.

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News 12 also called the number of the company who made the signs. A person who answered said they were made by a private customer and not by the village.

A spokesperson for Orange County called the signs outrageous, but it is unclear whether or not they will be removed. A representative for the New York Civil Liberties Union said they will continue to monitor Kiryas Joel to make sure it is not unlawfully endorsing or enforcing gender segregation in public.

Calls to Kiryas Joel's attorney for comment were not returned.

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