All New Yorkers, including transgender New Yorkers, deserve to be treated fairly and equally by the laws of our state.
That's why on October 22nd, at the Empire State Pride Agenda’s 25th anniversary Fall Dinner, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced new regulations to protect transgender New Yorkers from discrimination in basic needs including housing, employment, credit, education, and public accommodations.
The new regulations will prohibit harassment and discrimination on the basis of gender identity, transgender status, and gender dysphoria in the areas of public and private housing, employment, credit, education and public accommodations. These regulations will carry the full force of law as the New York State Division of Human Rights has statutory authority under Executive Law 2995 to promulgate regulations interpreting the Human Rights Law.
The Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (A4558/Gottfried)(S61/Squadron) is a bill that would outlaw discrimination in New York State based on gender identity or expression. GENDA also would expand the state’s hate crimes law to explicitly include crimes against transgender people.
- Watch and read stories from our TRANScribe Project and share your own.
Contact your legislators to help pass GENDA.
Download our Fact Sheet about GENDA
- Fact Sheet on the Gender Expression Non-Discrmination Act.
- STUDY: The Cost of Employment and Housing Discrimination against Transgender Residents of New York
- STUDY: Local Laws and Government Policies Prohibiting Discrimination Based on Gender Identity in New York
Facts About GENDA
What is the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA)?
GENDA is a bill that would protect transgender and gender non-conforming New Yorkers from discrimination by adding “gender identity and expression” to the protected classes of the existing Human Rights Law. The Human Rights Law had been around since 1948 and currently makes it illegal to discriminate on the basis of age, race, creed, national origin, sexual orientation, sex and other categories in a number of important areas, including employment, housing, public accommodations, education, and credit.
Why is this legislation necessary?
All New Yorkers deserve “an equal opportunity to enjoy a full and productive life,” as the Human Rights Law so eloquently lays out, but today in New York State people are losing their jobs, being refused service and even being evicted from their homes simply because they are transgender.
• 75% of transgender New Yorkers have experienced harassment on the job
• 20% lost their job, and a further 20% were denied promotion
• 19% have been denied a home or apartment, and 18% have been homeless
• 53% have been harassed or discriminated against in a place of public accommodation or service, such as a hotel or restaurant
• 17% have been refused medical care
• 75% of transgender children in K-12 education have been harassed and discriminated against in school, and a shocking 35% have been physically assaulted
GENDA will be good for the economy. The Williams Institute estimates that discrimination against transgender New Yorkers costs the state up to $7 million in Medicaid and housing program expenditures, not including the millions in state income tax revenues lost due to employment discrimination. This is an issue that our state cannot afford to ignore!
What is gender identity and expression and how does it differ from sexual orientation?
“Gender identity” is a person’s internal sense of their gender, which may or may not correspond to a person’s body or their assigned sex at birth (meaning what sex was originally listed on a person's birth certificate).
“Gender expression” is how a person expresses or represents their gender identity to the world such as attire, hair style, mannerisms, speech patterns, social interactions, name, and pronouns. Everyone has a gender expression.
“Sexual orientation” refers to a person’s romantic, emotional, or sexual attraction to another person. Common sexual orientations include heterosexual, lesbian, gay, or bisexual. A person's sexual orientation is distinct from a person's gender identity and expression.
Is there support for prohibiting transgender discrimination?
There is broad and deep support for transgender New Yorkers across the state!
• A Global Strategy Group poll found that 78% of New York voters support protections for transgender people. Support is strong across the state, whether in upstate (74%), New York City (79%) or the downstate suburbs (82%), and among Democrats (86%), Republicans (67%) and Independents (78%).
• Over 60 percent of New Yorkers live in a jurisdiction that prohibits this kind of discrimination through local ordinances.
• Newspapers like the New York Times, the Albany Times Union, Buffalo News, Syracuse PostStandard and Glens Falls Post-Star have endorsed GENDA. The Times has published five separate calls for GENDA in the past year alone! Dozens of additional national
• 32 organizations that serve or advocate on behalf of women have publicly supported the passage of GENDA.
• Law enforcement leaders from Albany, Binghamton, New York City, Rochester, Suffolk County, Tompkins County and Yonkers are on our side.
• 584 New York State clergy and lay leaders, including high-level faith leaders, support transgender non-discrimination protections.
• Unions representing millions of New Yorkers stand in solidarity with our movement.
Transgender New Yorkers in the Media
Whether it is Emmy-nominated actress Laverne Cox, or eight-year-old internet sensation Q, transgender New Yorkers have been making positive headlines across New York and the rest of the country.
Is there precedent for prohibiting discrimination against transgender people?
• 18 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have already passed similar non-discrimination laws and implemented them successfully. Cities across New York State, including Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, Ithaca, New York City, Rochester and Syracuse, have passed local transgender-inclusive non-discrimination laws. As have Albany, Suffolk, Tompkins and Westchester counties.
• New York prohibits discrimination based on gender identity and expression in state employment.
• In 2010, the Dignity for All Students Act passed. This law protects kids in the state’s public schools from discrimination and bullying on the basis of gender identity and expression.
• The private sector is far ahead of New York State on transgender rights. More than 150 private employers in New York - including Alcoa, American Express, Bausch & Lomb, Citigroup, Corning Inc., Deutsche Bank, Eastman Kodak, Goldman Sachs, IBM, J.P. Morgan Chase, Keyspan, MetLife, The New York Times, PepsiCo, Xerox and Pfizer - have adopted their own internal policies to protect employees from transgender discrimination.
Isn’t transgender discrimination already prohibited by the law?
Neither federal nor state statutes specifically ban discrimination based on gender identity and expression in areas of employment, housing or public accommodations. Eleven cities and counties in New York State have passed their own local non-discrimination ordinances that protect on the basis of gender identity and expression. While some New York State courts have found that existing prohibitions on sex, gender or disability discrimination can apply to transgender people, those precedents do not apply in all circumstances and are not applied consistently across the entire state.
Download our Fact Sheet on GENDA as a PDF.