New York Lawmakers Advance GENDA

January 14, 2019 • 3:40 pm

WASHINGTON – Today lawmakers in New York advanced legislation to protect transgender people from discrimination. New York’s Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) sailed through the Senate Investigations and Governmental Operations committee without a single Nay vote. It is the first bill passed out of a New York Senate committee this year and is expected to pass the full Senate tomorrow. Freedom for All Americans (FFAA) is partnering with local advocates in New York to advance nondiscrimination legislation this year.

“At long last, New York Senators took an important step towards passing a comprehensive state law that fully protects all LGBTQ New Yorkers from discrimination,” said Masen Davis, CEO of Freedom for All Americans. “For the last 16 years, GENDA has been unfinished business and a painful reminder of transgender New Yorkers’ status as second class citizens in the Empire State. Transgender advocates and their allies have invested their time and resources into making this victory possible and we are honored to support their efforts as we move across the finish line. Tomorrow New York now has the opportunity to send an unequivocal message that all New Yorkers are welcome, celebrated and valued for being who they are.”

GENDA is expected to pass the General Assembly and Senate tomorrow morning. Governor Cuomo and Senate leadership have identified GENDA as a top priority this year after the Democrats gained a strong majority in the State Senate. GENDA will update New York’s anti-discrimination laws and hate crimes statutes to provide protections on the basis of gender identity and expression, and will build on Governor Cuomo’s previously issued executive order to provide the strongest possible protections for transgender New Yorkers in employment, housing, and public spaces.

Bipartisan momentum for LGBTQ protections is building nationwide. In just the last four weeks, five governors signed executive orders prohibiting discrimination against LGBTQ state employees – including outgoing GOP Governors John Kasich (OH) and Rick Snyder (MI), and new Governors Gretchen Whitmer (MI), Tony Evers (WI), and Mike DeWine (OH). The new U.S. House majority has also indicated they plan to prioritize the Equality Act which would provide explicit and comprehensive nondiscrimination protections to all LGBTQ Americans.

Freedom for All Americans is the bipartisan campaign to secure full nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people nationwide. Our work brings together Republicans, Democrats, and Independents; businesses large and small; people of faith; and allies from all walks of life to make the case for comprehensive nondiscrimination protections that ensure everyone is treated fairly and equally.

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