Will the passage of GENDA for the third straight time finally be the charm in the wake of Gov. David Paterson's recent executive order to ban discrimination based on gender identity and expression for state employees?
Or will GENDA die another painful and very public death in the NY state senate with a governor standing by who is willing and patiently waiting to sign it into law?
Wednesday the NY State Assembly passed GENDA on a 100-43 vote. Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) stated in a press release:
"No New Yorker should face the day-to-day harassment experienced by so many transgender people who have lost their jobs or apartments because of their gender expression. "For transgender individuals, GENDA provides equal protection under the law and provides legal recourse for those who have been denied access or harassed for their gender identity. The Assembly has long supported protections for all groups of people and, this critical bill is another indication of that commitment."
Currently 13 states and Washington, D.C., have laws to protect transgender people from employment, financial, public accommodation, and housing discrimination.
In New York state several cities and counties, including Rochester and New York City, have standing GENDA laws.
Okay NY Senate, now it is up to you. Will you step up to the plate, do the right thing and stand up for the rights of your fellow New Yorkers, or will you continue to surrender to cowardice?
And citizens of NY state who value fairness, will you step it up and loudly tell your senators it's time to do the right thing and pass GENDA?