In an 84-46 vote, the New York State Assembly just passed the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), legislation designed to extend human rights protections to transgender people. The bill, which was first introduced in 2003, has passed the Assembly seven times now. It now heads to the New York state Senate’s Investigations and Government Operations Committee. State Senator Daniel Squadron is the sponsor of the Senate’s version.
“No New Yorker should fear losing a job or a home because of their gender identity,” Democratic Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried, the bill’s sponsor, said in a statement.
There are no protections for transgender people in New York State. GENDA would change that.
“This is a long overdue protection of human rights. Every year my colleagues and I speak for transgender human rights and equal protection under the law – and every year, opponents spin imaginary horror stories, none of which have anything to do with this bill. Local GENDA laws have been on the books in large parts of the state for years, and no one has pointed to any of these hypothetical events actually happening. It’s time to protect all New Yorkers’ right to fair housing and employment.”
The Empire State Pride Agenda’s Executive Director Nathan M. Schaefer offered this statement:
“We’re pleased that the New York State Assembly came together for the seventh time to pass GENDA and send a message to the Senate that we’re past due to pass this important bill for the thousands of transgender New Yorkers who deserve equal protections under the law. We’re at a critical juncture now and transgender visibility and civil rights are advancing swiftly. We risk our title as leader on civil rights when New York fails to keep up with the pace of the country.”
Image: Assemblywoman Deborah J. Glick speaking today in favor of GENDA. Photo by Nily Rozic via Twitter
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