Wednesday, May 01, 2013

GENDA Passes NY Assembly For Sixth Straight Time

Back on April 19 I asked the question if GENDA would finally pass in New York State this year.  

Well, it's off t a great start.  For the sixth straight time GENDA, the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act passed the NY state Assembly on a 84-46 vote Tuesday. 

GENDA (A.4226)(S.0195) ensures that all New Yorkers, including those who identify as transgender or present their gender in a way that differs from what is traditionally associated with their birth sex, are protected from discrimination in housing, employment, credit, public accommodations, and other areas of everyday life under the Human Rights Law. The measure also expands the state's hate crime protections to explicitly include crimes against transgender people.

And yes, as you probably guessed opponents of the bill threw the bathroom meme into the debate in their attempts to block it but failed.

Assemblymember Deborah J. Glick said about its passage, "GENDA appropriately extends long overdue civil rights protections to the transgender community. I am confident that fairness and justice will result in passage, and I call on the NYS Senate to embrace the 21st Century and approve this crucial bill.

Tuesday also saw 700 people descend upon Albany to lobby for passage of GENDA and work on the senators in the Republican controlled New York Senate.  The bill has gone from being passed in the Assembly to dying in the Senate for the last five sessions without ever getting a floor vote.

Empire State Pride Agenda Executive Director Nathan Schaefer is hopeful this time will be different  and congratulated the Assembly for standing up for the rights of trans New Yorkers.

"LGBT New Yorkers have made significant strides towards equality with legislative victories on hate crimes, bullying, and most recently, marriage equality. And yet, we have work to do. In many places across New York, people can be fired from their jobs, evicted from their homes, and experience discrimination just because of their gender identity or expression. The time to extend basic civil rights to transgender New Yorkers is long overdue. We commend the Assembly for recognizing this need and passing GENDA for the 6th time.
Senate Sponsor Daniel Squadron will lead the charge to pass GENDA through the Investigations and Government Operations Committee and the full Senate.  If that happens, it will then go to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's desk for his signature.

Transgender New Yorkers have been waiting far too long to have their home state cover them in anti-discrimination and hate crime laws, and it's past time it happened .

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