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Gender-segregating signs stir controversy in New York’s Kiryas Joel

NEW YORK (JTA) – Signs that appear to call for gender segregation on streets in the Hasidic village of Kiryas Joel have raised some hackles.

The color-coded signs posted along Forest Road — blue for men and red for women — designate separate sides of the street for men and women. The signs were made by a private individual and are not endorsed by the village in New York State’s Orange County, according to News 12.

Similar signs are posted in New Square, home to a Hasidic community in Rockland County in suburban New York City.

Proponents of the signs claim they offer suggestions for times when there is heavy foot traffic, while critics such as the New York Civil Liberties Union contend that it could develop into a violation of civil rights.

In 2012, the village of Kiryas Joel built publicly financed gender-segregated blue and pink playgrounds for children. The village agreed to halt segregation at the parks following a court order in March.

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