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Key Legislation and Cases
- 1884 - Law prohibiting discrimination based on race, color or previous condition of servitude in public accommodations and eligibility for grand or petit jury service.
- 1917 - Amendments to the 1884 law expanded definition of public accommodations
- 1921 - Amendments to the law expands the law to include proprietors, managers, employees, etc., of public accommodations, and to prohibit discriminatory written communications.
- 1945 - Chapters 168 to 174 of L.1945 created the Division Against Discrimination and broadened all civil rights laws to include “creed, national origin or ancestry.”
- 1947 - New Jersey has a new Constitution with a Civil Rights clause banning discrimination in education and in the military.
- 1949 - Freeman Bill aimed to open the doors of places like hotels, swimming pools and beaches, which despite the 1884 "Act to Protect All Citizens in their Civil and Legal Rights" had often been closed to African Americans.
- 1974 - National Organization for Women (NOW) v. Little League Baseball, 67 N.J. 320 (1974) allowed girls to play Little League.
- 1990 - Frank v. Ivy Club, et al., 120 N.J. 73 (1990)
- 1999 - New Jersey and the US Justice Department enter into a consent decree establishing an independent monitor to ensure that racial profiling by state troopers cease.
- 2002 - Giordano v. LeTerrace Swim Club
- 2007 - Bernstein v. Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association
Alcoholic Beverage Control Bulletins reveal how the state harassed the gay community
Copy of Case Referred to Division Against Discrimination
Discrimination in Public Accommodations
After the passage of the 13th Amendment in 1865 discrimination in public places was never codified into law in New Jersey in the way that it was in the American south and, the 1884 Act to Protect All Citizens in their Civil and Legal Rights had outlawed discrimination in "inns, public conveyances, theatres and other places of public amusement". That doesn't mean that such discrimination didn't occur in practice in everyday life. African Americans were routinely denied the enjoyment of everyday pleasures and encountered segregation when going to the beach, buying an ice cream or attending a dance, and though it was illegal to exclude a child from any public school because of nationality, religion or color after the 1884 civil rights law was enacted "colored schools" continued to exist. Discrimination against people because of their national origin was common (especially against the Irish and Italians). The 1945 Law Against Discrimination primarily addressed discrimination in employment and it wasn't until 1949, after agitation from the NAACP, with the passage of the New Jersey Civil Rights Act (the Freeman Bill) that discrimination in social life (public accommodation) was extended, opening hotels, restaurants, and dance halls. These laws laid the foundation for other marginalized groups within New Jersey to claim their rights to "make a living and enjoy that living".
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