|Photo: Ove Overmyer|
Albany, N.Y. -- The Civil Service Employees Association and the American Federation of Teachers reiterated their support today for the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act this afternoon, giving the issue a boost in the final weeks of the legislative session.
The Empire State Pride Agenda is pointing to the endorsements today from labor as nod that GENDA, among other components, calls for a variety of workplace protections.
Both CSEA and the AFT approved resolutions recommitting support to GENDA as chances of passage in the Senate appear to be an uphill climb.
“As trade unionists, we believe that our gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender brothers and sisters unequivocally deserve the same protections and benefits as their brothers and sisters,” said the American Federation of Teachers in a resolution.
The CSEA resolution, written by the WNY Region 6 Women’s Committee, wrote that it was a matter of equal treatment.
“While currently it is illegal in New York State to discriminate on the basis of age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, sex, marital status and other categories in the areas of employment, housing, public accommodations, education and credit, current human rights laws do not explicitly ban discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression,” said the Civil Service Employees Association in a resolution. “All New Yorkers deserve equal treatment.”
The focus on GENDA comes after the LGBT lobby in New York scored its most significant victory, the passage of same-sex marriage rights in the state via the Legislature.
GENDA has been a sought-after goal for nearly a decade, but has died in both Democratic and Republican-led Senate majorities.
“It’s unacceptable that in 2013 any New Yorker risks being fired, evicted or denied public accommodations simply for being who they are. But absent GENDA, thousands of New Yorkers live in fear – and lack basic civil rights and equal protection under the law,” said Nathan Schaefer, Executive Director of the Empire State Pride Agenda. “We commend the American Federation of Teachers and Civil Service Employees Association for leading by example and are hopeful that the State Senate will follow suit.”