Aside from the federal anti-discrimination law, New York City has its own more restrictive anti-discrimination laws, which seem to include more protected classes and which also seems to have a much broader definition of "public accommodation."

§ 8-107. 4. a. 1. defines these protected classes:

actual or perceived race, creed, color, national origin, age, gender, disability, marital status, partnership status, sexual orientation, uniformed service or alienage or citizenship status

whereas the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title II (42 USC 2000a) includes only these protected classes:

race, color, religion, or national origin

While several categories are explicitly added to the New York City law that are absent from the federal Civil Rights Act, 'religion' is notably absent and apparently replaced with 'creed.'

My question, then, is how is 'creed' defined in practice for purposes of New York City's public accommodation anti-discrimination code?

Is 'creed' here intended to include religious beliefs, but to be more broad so as to also include beliefs and views that aren't necessarily of a religious nature? Would it include, for example, political views? Social views?

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    You will get different answers depending on whether you ask about the statute, administrative statements, and case law. The problem is that a state administrative interpretation that establishes a privilege based on "religion" runs federally afoul of the Establishment clause. Many seemingly "political" beliefs are so deeply held that they are in essence non-organized non-theistic religious beliefs, hence federal case law handles this in terms of deeply held convictions.
    – user6726
    Oct 15, 2019 at 19:13
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    It turns out that this is because of the 5th Constitution, §11 dos.ny.gov/INFO/constitution.htm. Apparently the NY courts have not yet ruled on what "creed" means.
    – user6726
    Oct 15, 2019 at 20:42
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    @user6726 - actually there are multiple cases at both the state and city level that have provided rulings on creed and that it specifically doesn't apply to political beliefs. Here's an article to one of the cases: nypost.com/2018/04/25/…. The decision can be found here: pospislaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/…
    – Dave D
    Oct 16, 2019 at 0:32
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    @DaveD the outcome in that case is largely attributable to failings in the plaintiff's presentation of the case. But the cited case, Keady v. Nike, and the cases that it cites, are of more interest.
    – phoog
    Oct 16, 2019 at 3:42
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1 Answer 1


From NYC website (creed):

Creed refers to a set of moral or ethical beliefs and the practices and observances associated with those beliefs. Although creed includes traditional religious beliefs, it also incorporates belief systems that may not be expressed by an organized religious group.

Based on the examples shown on the website, it doesn't seem like it was intended to extend to political views, but rather religion and religion-like beliefs.

  • 1
    Thanks and added.
    – bkibler228
    Oct 15, 2019 at 18:55
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    Oct 17, 2019 at 18:53

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