New York Gov. Cuomo Takes Executive Action on Transgender Non-Discrimination, Underscoring Urgency for LegislationBy Adam Polaski • October 22, 2015 • 5:15 pm
Today, October 22, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo took a big step forward with plans to take executive action extending non-discrimination protections to transgender New Yorkers. The Cuomo administration will direct the State Division of Human Rights to ensure that current non-discrimination laws (which have existed in New York since 1945’s New York State Human Rights Law, covering race, color, religious creed, ancestry, national origin, age, gender, disability status, and sexual orientation) also cover discrimination against transgender people.
For many years, the New York Legislature has stalled in extending comprehensive non-discrimination protections based on gender identity, although New Yorkers have been protected from discrimination based on sexual orientation since 2003.
Governor Cuomo’s executive action marks an important step forward, underscoring the urgent need for the NY State Legislature to pass a bill to make these policies permanent. These protections for transgender New Yorkers are simply too important to be left to the enforcement of one leader, and a bill would explicitly codify these protections into state law.
“Governor Cuomo has a strong history of fighting for equality for LGBT people and he has continued that leadership today by taking bold action to provide transgender people urgently needed protection from discrimination. This is a critical step in the right direction that the legislature should make permanent through statute. Protection from discrimination is too foundational and important a community value to leave to the discretion of future administrations. The New York legislature must swiftly pass a comprehensive bill that ensures for good that no transgender New Yorker faces discrimination because of who they are.”
Governor Cuomo said last night at the Empire State Pride Agenda’s dinner:
“The scourge of harassment and discrimination against transgender individuals is well-known – and has also has gone largely unanswered for too long. New York has always been a beacon for the country on LGBT rights. We started the movement at Stonewall, we led the way with marriage equality, and now we are continuing to show the nation the path forward. We will not tolerate discrimination or harassment against transgender people anywhere in the State of New York – period.”
Watch Governor Cuomo announce the regulations here: