NYS's "politically correct language" is vetoed

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Sun Aug 21 04:44:43 UTC 2005

This was a pretty dumb bill; it's amazing that stuff like this got
legislated in the first place. The legislators in Albany probably never even  read the
bill before passage. (Unfortunately, that's how stuff gets done in  Albany.
Only three people usually read it.)
It's not that people shouldn't be sensitive, but really, legislating what
words can be used?
Pataki Rejects Bill Regulating Language of Public Documents

By _AL BAKER_ (http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?ppds=bylL&v1=AL
BAKER&fdq=19960101&td=sysdate&sort=newest&ac=AL BAKER&inline=nyt-per)
Published: August 20, 2005

ALBANY, Aug. 19 - Striking a blow against a call for "politically correct"
language in public documents, Gov. George E. Pataki vetoed a bill this week
that  would have switched the designation of "autistics" to "people with autism,"
 among other changes for the ways to describe individuals with disabilities.
In doing so, the three-term Republican governor rejected an idea backed
overwhelmingly by Democrats and his fellow Republicans: the bill passed
unanimously in the Republican-led State Senate in June and passed by a 144 to 1  tally
in the Democrat-led Assembly.
Pataki vetoes bill that mandates politically correct language  in laws
By The Associated Press
Saturday, August 20, 2005 12:28 AM EDT
ALBANY - Call this bill "legislatively challenged."

Gov.  George Pataki on Friday vetoed a measure passed by the Legislature that
would  have required the use of politically correct terminology in new state
and local  laws, regulations and charters when referring to people with

Assembly sponsor Harvey Weisenberg, a Nassau County  Democrat, said in a memo
supporting the bill that "certain terms currently used  diminish the humanity
of individuals with disabilities, creating an invisible  barrier that
excludes these individuals from being viewed as equal members of  the community."

The bill would have required the use of terminology that  puts the person
before the disability. For example, those termed disabled would  instead be
called "people with disabilities." The mentally ill would instead be  called
"people with mental illness."

"By using the correct language in  legislation, New York state lawmakers can
make a positive impact on how people  with disabilities are perceived by
society," Weisenberg wrote.

Pataki, a  Republican eyeing a possible 2008 run for president, said that
while he  commended the sponsors for trying to ensure that all people are treated
with  dignity and respect, he couldn't approve the measure because it
establishes  standards that are "vague and subjective."
He said that language deemed acceptable today could in the  future be
considered offensive and that even people with the same disability can  disagree over
which term to use.

"Respect, sensitivity and courtesy must  be the product of our ongoing
efforts, not a code of politically correct  terminology," the governor said in his

veto note.

More information about the Ads-l mailing list