NEW YORK - Yesterday, in his State of the State address, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo called for an amendment to New York’s civil rights law to protect transgender New Yorkers from discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, praised Governor Cuomo’s call to action and called on the New York State Senate to finally pass the state’s Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) and explicitly protect transgender New York residents and visitors from discrimination at the state level.
“It’s far past time for the New York State Senate to take action on the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act,” said HRC National Field Director Marty Rouse. “All New Yorkers deserve the right to live and work without fear of discrimination or harassment based on their gender identity. We applaud Governor Cuomo for his strong leadership for the fair treatment of all New Yorkers, and we urge the Senate to finally pass this critically important bill.”
There is no state law in New York explicitly prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression in employment, housing, and public accommodations. Transgender New Yorkers are frequently denied employment, evicted from their homes, or harassed in public because of their gender identity. According to the Empire State Pride Agenda, 74% of transgender New Yorkers have been harassed or mistreated on the job, 19% denied a home or apartment, and 53% harassed in public accommodations, such as a restaurant, library, store, or public transportation.
In June 2014, the New York Assembly passed GENDA for a remarkable seventh time, but the bill has never received a vote in the State Senate.
HRC is committed to continuing our work with our partners at the New York State Trans Rights Coalition, the Empire State Pride Agenda, and others to pass GENDA in 2015 through the New York State Senate. Governor Cuomo has vowed to sign the bill.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. HRC envisions a world where LGBT people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.
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