This Week’s Developments in LGBTQ Nondiscrimination

January 18, 2019 • 11:39 am

New York becomes 20th state to have comprehensive nondiscrimination laws protecting LGBTQ people; Kansas Gov. sixth in recent weeks to sign pro-LGBTQ executive order


WASHINGTON – New York State lawmakers this week passed historic protections for the state’s transgender community. The newly elected governor of Kansas issued an important executive order that protects LGBTQ state employees and employees of state contractors. And President Trump’s nominee to be the next Attorney General, William Barr, faced questions from senators this week regarding his anti-LGBTQ record. Freedom for All Americans’ Weekly LGBTQ Nondiscrimination Update has all the latest developments that should be on your radar:


New York Lawmakers Pass Historic Protections for Transgender New Yorkers:

The Gender Expression Nondiscrimination Act (GENDA), sailed through both houses of the New York state legislature this week, becoming one of the first bills passed out of a state legislature in 2019. GENDA protects transgender people from discrimination in employment, housing, and public spaces. Governor Andrew Cuomo has pledged to sign GENDA into law, which would solidify New York as the 20th state with comprehensive laws protecting LGBTQ people.


Kansas Governor Signs Pro-LGBTQ Executive Order:

In Kansas, newly elected Governor Laura Kelly issued an executive order protecting state employees and the employees of state contractors from discrimination, and banning discrimination in public services. Kelly is now the sixth governor in recent weeks to sign a pro-LGBTQ executive order. Governors from both parties in Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin have all signed executive orders that, to varying degrees, prohibit discrimination of LGBTQ state employees.

FFAA is anticipating movement on several LGBTQ related bills in multiple states. You can read our rundown previewing the 2019 legislative session here.


Trump’s Nominee For Attorney General Faces Questions Over Poor Record on LGBTQ Issues:

During his confirmation hearing, nominee for Attorney General, William Barr conceded to senators that he was now “fine” with marriage equality – but added that there, “has to be accommodation to religion.” Barr has previously said that laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation should not be placed on a plane equal to other nondiscrimination laws – because they condone conduct that he believed was immoral. Barr also has previously fought a proposed rule from the Department of Health and Human Services that would have eliminated an HIV travel ban, and he’s even praised former Attorney General Jeff Sessions for withdrawing protections for transgender people.


Faces of Freedom is a new resource that brings together powerful messengers and stories of discrimination, creating a one-stop resource for reporters, policymakers, advocates, and others who need to harness the power of storytelling and the diversity of the LGBTQ community. It includes more than 350 stories from nearly every state and will be continue to expand in the coming months. You’ll meet LGBTQ people who have faced discrimination, family members and friends who support their LGBTQ loved ones, and community members like business leaders and small business owners, people of faith and clergy, and Americans across the political spectrum who all support full equality under the law for LGBTQ people.

Freedom for All Americans is working to secure comprehensive nondiscrimination protections for all LGBTQ Americans, no matter which state they call home. For more information on state-specific legislation, or to browse our stories of discrimination, please visit

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