New York State Assembly passes bill banning transgender discrimination; Pride Agenda calls on State Senate to act
Statement from Pride Agenda Executive Director Alan Van Capelle
April 21, 2009—“We thank the New York State Assembly for voting by a wide margin today to amend the state’s human rights law to include anti-discrimination protections based upon gender identity and expression. The Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA, A.5710) provides crucial civil rights protections for transgender New Yorkers by banning discrimination in housing, employment, credit, public accommodations, and other areas of everyday life.
Transgender New Yorkers shouldn’t have to live in fear that they will lose their job, get kicked out of their apartment or be denied service in a restaurant just because of who they are. The Assembly continues to demonstrate its recognition of these important protections and its place as a leader on civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender New Yorkers and their families. We thank Assemblymember Richard Gottfried for his continuing sponsorship and support of this bill, as well as the Assemblymembers who passed this bill in the Assembly for the second time this year.
Now it is time for the State Senate to do what 78 percent* of New York voters know is right: end discrimination against transgender New Yorkers once and for all by passing GENDA in the Senate and making it law in New York State. We currently lag behind the thirteen states and over 96 localities across the U.S. that already prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and expression. The time is now for us to join this growing list. Transgender New Yorkers can’t—and shouldn’t have to—wait any longer.”
*According to a March 2008 Global Strategy poll, 78 percent of registered New York voters support passing a bill that protects transgender people from discrimination in employment, housing, education and other areas of everyday life.