Male Plaintiff Sufficiently Alleges Gender Discrimination Under the NYC Human Rights Law

From Gallagher v. AEG Mgmt. Brooklyn, LLC, No. 16-CV-4779, 2017 WL 2345658 (E.D.N.Y. May 30, 2017):

Dasaro contends that Gallagher did not allege facts that the harassment he suffered was gender-based. ECF 28-1, Dasaro Memo of Law (“Dasaro MOL”), at pp. 4-8. The Court disagrees, and holds that the Complaint adequately pleads that Gallagher suffered unwanted gender-based conduct to clear the low bar set by the NYCHRL. Most obviously, depicting Plaintiff with bare breasts—an inherently female body part—strikes directly at, and undermines, Plaintiff’s identity as a man. Durkin v. Verizon N.Y., Inc., 678 F. Supp. 2d 124, 136 (S.D.N.Y. 2009) (“The significance of breasts with respect to gender identity is unique to women.”). Additionally, Dasaro’s comment, “What? You don’t want Andy to suck your [penis]?” pertains to “gender-specific aspects of [Gallagher’s] anatomy,” and a juror could “reasonably conclude [it was] made because of his sex, even without any evidence [the comment was] motivated by sexual desire.” Sawka v. ADP, Inc., No. 13-CV-754, 2015 WL 5708571, at *11 (D. Conn. Sept. 29, 2015) (“Even if the less specific comments made by men [about the male plaintiff] … did not explicitly invoke gender, a jury could reasonably infer that they are gender-related [because] … the photographs that inspired them depicted a nude man.”). As for the First Photo, Plaintiff may have “reasonably fe[lt] the homosexual depictions strike at his gender or attack him because of his gender,” or “intimated, ridiculed or insulted men or masculinity.” Fenn v. Verizon Commc’ns, Inc., No. 08-CV-2348, 2010 WL 908918, at *15 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 15, 2010) (internal citations and quotations omitted). Indeed, a reasonable jury could also find the First Photo to be more demeaning to men than women because it targeted the masculinity and manliness of Gallagher, who is presumably a heterosexual man. (Emphasis added.)