All New Yorkers, including transgender New Yorkers, deserve to be treated fairly and equally by the laws of our state.

The Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (A.4226/Gottfried)(S.195/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. Get involved — we need your help to pass GENDA! Find out more about discrimination against transgender New Yorkers.

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Facts About GENDA

What is the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA)?

GENDA is New York State’s transgender non-discrimination bill. It would add the category of “gender identity and expression” to the already existing New York State Human Rights Law, which makes it illegal to discriminate on the basis of age, race, creed, national origin, sexual orientation, sex and other categories in the areas of employment, housing, public accommodations, education and credit.

GENDA would extend the New York State Human Rights Law to ban discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression as well. Similarly, it would add gender identity and expression to these same categories already included in New York’s hate crimes law.

Why is this legislation necessary?

All New Yorkers should be treated fairly and equally by the laws of our state. Currently in New York State, people are losing their jobs, being refused service and even being evicted from their homes simply because they are transgender.

One out of every three transgender New Yorkers have been homeless at one time, and two out of three experience discrimination at work - 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?

Sexual orientation” is the preferred term used when referring to an individual's physical and/or emotional attraction to the same and/or opposite gender. “Lesbian,” gay,” and “bisexual” are all sexual orientations. A person's sexual orientation is distinct from a person's gender identity and expression.

The term “gender identity,” distinct from the term “sexual orientation," refers to a person's innate, deeply felt psychological identification as male or female, which may or may not correspond to the person's body or designated sex at birth (meaning what sex was originally listed on a person's birth certificate).

Gender expression” refers to all of the external characteristics and behaviors that are socially defined as either masculine or feminine, such as dress, grooming, mannerisms, speech patterns and social interactions. Social or cultural norms can vary widely and some characteristics that may be accepted as masculine, feminine or neutral in one culture may not be assessed similarly in another.

Is there support for prohibiting transgender discrimination?

There is broad and deep support for transgender New Yorkers across the state:

 

Is there precedent for prohibiting discrimination against transgender people?

Yes, in both the public and private sector.

 

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. 11 cities and counties in New York State have their own local non-discrimination ordinances inclusive of gender identity and expression. We must remedy this patchwork of protections, varying from city-to-city or county-to-county, with a statewide law.

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 binding on the entire state. Because sexual orientation and gender identity and expression are different, courts generally have not interpreted sexual orientation non-discrimination laws to include transgender discrimination. 

Download our Fact Sheet on GENDA as a PDF.