Monday, April 30, 2012


NYS Assembly Passes Gender Expression Nondiscrimination Act

Albany, N.Y.-- Today, we as a state move one step closer to full equality for ALL with the Assembly's passage of Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA); a bill which I am proud to be a co-sponsor.             

Transgender individuals whose gender identity, appearance, behavior or expression differs from their genetic sex at birth under current law are not protected from discrimination in housing, employment, public accommodations and many other areas of life, and they are particularly vulnerable to hate crimes. We must end this discrimination.

Many people who supported SONDA (the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act) believed that it covered transgender discrimination. However, gender identity or expression is not the same as sexual orientation; thus the passage of GENDA legislation is necessary for us all to have equality.

I will continue my strong support and fight for civil rights for ALL New Yorkers. Everyone deserves the right to safe and equal protection under the law. Long overdue, GENDA will make it illegal to fire someone from their job, kick someone out of their apartment or deny credit to someone simply because of their gender identity or expression. This is a crucial step in supporting civil rights.

The experience of transgender individuals, and the discrimination they face, are unique, and should be specifically identified and unambiguously rejected in our State's civil rights laws, just like discrimination based on age, sex, sexual orientation, religion, race, disability, or ethnicity.

The Assembly Majority has always been a supporter of equal rights and we hope our partners in the Senate will join us and pass this very important piece of legislation.

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