Human rights panel to keep women-only hours at public pools

A New York City commission has decided women-only swimming hours at two city pools to accommodate mostly Orthodox Jewish women don't violate the constitutional separation of church and state.

Wednesday's decision by the Human Rights Commission came after a months-long investigation prompted by an anonymous complaint. Commission officials say the women-only swims fall within the city's human rights law and would have a minimal impact on other people's access to the pools.

The women-only sessions at the two pools in Brooklyn are open to women of all religions but cater mostly to Orthodox Jewish women, whose beliefs bar them from bathing with men.

Civil libertarians had argued restricting men's access to public pools is wrong.

The special swim sessions will be open to anyone who identifies as a woman or a girl, including transgender people.