On Tuesday by a vote of 78 to 44, the New York State Assembly voted in favor of the passage of the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), a non-discrimination bill brought forward by Assembly Member Hon. Richard N. Gottfried. This was the seventh time that the bill has passed through the Assembly. Current New York State prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation but does not provide these critical protections on the basis of gender identity.
Democratic Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried, the bill’s sponsor, said in his statement, “No New Yorker should fear losing a job or a home because of their gender identity.” GENDA, which would also expand the state’s hate crime laws to cover hate crimes against transgender people, will now head to the New York Senate Investigations and Government Operations Committee. Assembly Member Gottfried reminded his colleagues during the debate on the bill that “in the words of Martin Luther King Jr., ‘it is always the right time to do the right thing’.”
HRC is has been working hard alongside the Empire State Pride Agenda and the Trans Rights Coalition over the past few years in New York to help get GENDA passed. HRC has led lobby and rally days, phone banks, online campaigns and met one-on-one with State Senators.
If you are a New York citizen and support GENDA, it is not too late to be a part of making this important bill become a law. Please contact your State Senators and urge them to support GENDA. It is beyond time that discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression be prohibited by a state that has always been a leader on matters of LGBT equality.