I am stunned to see that the issue of whether a male reporter can be barred from covering a news event in New Bedford that female and non-binary reporters are allowed to cover continues to be such a divisive one.

There can be no excuse or justification for discrimination of any kind against any individual based on gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or any other reason you can think of. I am disappointed that Ward Four City Councillor Dana Rebeiro continues to dig in her heels on the matter and tries to rationalize her decision to ban male reporters from covering the women's forum she helped organize last week.

This is and has never been about the rights of women to gather. Nor is it about the issues women face in today's society. It is about discrimination and discrimination alone.

Councillor Rebeiro appeared on my program to try and defend the indefensible.

Editor's Note: Barry Richard is the afternoon host on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.