Breastfeeding is legal anywhere in New York state, but that doesn't mean everyone realizes that. And a Manhattan couple is accusing a Westchester country club of kicking them out "simply because his wife was breast-feeding at a table and he was carrying a black backpack."
According to the NY Post, Harlem residents Tom Neijens, 36, and his wife, Roseline Remans, 34, went to the Metropolis Country Club in White Plains earlier this month and, despite not being members, were given permission to lunch there. However, everything allegedly went tits up when Remans started to breastfeed their baby daughter. Neijens, who works for the Belgium Mission to the UN, claims that a staffer told his wife to finish breastfeed in the bathroom, which outraged them: "You don’t ask a person to have lunch in the restroom — why would you ask a baby to have lunch there?"
So then the local police arrived, and the couple says a detective demanded that doors be closed and other diners removed while he had his hands on his gun and a Taser. And then the cop allegedly told them that others thought they might be terrorists because of Neijen's black backpack, "In Sri Lanka, babies are used by terrorists." Especially when they are breastfeeding!
The couple has demanded an apology from the country club while the Greenburgh police department said it was a "cultural misunderstanding"—and claims Neijens said, "You must think the baby is a terrorist." Man, hasn't the Greenburgh PD seen this Time cover? Breastfeeding is all over the place. Anyway, the NYCLU notes that in New York State, woman can bare boobs to nourish their kids:
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT:
To breastfeed your baby in any public or private place where you have a right to be.
This includes stores, day care centers, doctors’ offices, restaurants, parks, movie theaters and many other places.
No one can tell you to leave any of these places because you are breastfeeding, and no one can tell you to breastfeed in a bathroom, a basement or a private room.
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT:
To pump breast milk for three years after you give birth.
To use your paid break or meal time, or take reasonable unpaid break times, to pump breast milk.
To ask for a private place to pump breast milk close to where you work. Your employer must try to find you one.
Your employer cannot discriminate against you for choosing to breastfeed your baby or for pumping milk at work.
Yes, that includes breastfeeding on the subway.