New York Assembly Passes Trans Protections

While focus has centered on the New York Assembly having passed a marriage equality bill, the Assembly also passed AB 5039 this week, a bill designed to add gender identity and expression to the state’s nondiscrimination laws. The bill, known as GENDA, passed in a 78-53 vote.

GENDA would amend the state’s nondiscrimination laws to include gender identity and expression. It would protect trans citizens from discrimination in employment, public accommodations, the housing and credit sectors, and in education. The bill is also designed to add gender identity to the state’s hate crimes statute.

Key proponent Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell reportedly said this following the bill’s passage:

“I am proud that today I and my colleagues in the Assembly voted by a wide margin, 78-53, once again in support of offering long overdue protections to those most in need. Transgender individuals all across New York State currently live in fear of being fired from a job or denied housing based upon gender expression; this must be changed. New York will be a stronger, more just place when we all can live secure in the knowledge that our government protects us.”

The human rights campaign also issued the following statement:

“We congratulate the New York Assembly for moving forward these critical protections,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “Gender identity and expression should not be factored into an individual’s access to education, employment, housing or public accommodations. We call on the New York Senate to swiftly take up and pass this legislation.”

This is the third time the bill has passed the New York Assembly. It must now go before the Republican-controlled Senate.

Melissa Sklarz, Director of the New York Trans Rights Organization, notes in a piece for the HRC Back Story blog that the votes maybe be there to pass the legislation, but, she writes, that doesn’t mean it will get to the floor: “The head count stands at 32 of 62 in favor and 8 undecided or undeclared.  But the “no” votes control the floor and have shown little initiative in moving the bill.”

The legislative session ends June 20.

Sklarz also expresses that while Governor Cuomo has continued the practice of issuing an executive order against discrimination based on gender identity, this is an impermanent and fragile substitute for legislative action. Read more at the HRC Back Story.


Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to -Marlith-.

22 comments

Zoe B.
Zoe B.4 years ago

It will die in the Senate, as it has the other three times it was passed in the Assembly.
Gay Marriage is the issue that's getting the attention now. GENDA? Forget it, not important in comparison. Unless you're T, not GLB.

Marissa K.
Marissa K.4 years ago

Now they need to extend these protections to TG people inside prisons. Often a man who is transitioning to a women will be put inside a male facility because genitals, not perceived gender, determines where someone goes to prison. Often times their feminine features leads these TG male-to-female's to be raped while in prison.

K s Goh
KS Goh4 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Yvette T.
Past Member 4 years ago

There is a sacred place for all of us, if only the people in this world would see and agree that this is so!

Tracey D.
Tracey D.4 years ago

yay! Other states should follow

Arielle Black-Foley

Fantastic! :)

Norma V.
Norma Villarreal4 years ago

Keep up the good work, New York.

Jane H.
Jane H.4 years ago

YES!!!! Hooray for New York!

adriana j.
adriana j.4 years ago

Michelle K. : If I were you, I would think twice before spreading my ignorance and hatred in writing and in a public, human-rights-concerned site like Care2. Shame on you.

Michelle K.
Michelle K.4 years ago

While I generally don't care about other people so stupid as to mess up their own bodies and shorten their lifespans by taking artificial hormones from the opposite sex, the real "kick in the ass" will be when medical insurance providers whom reject people with necessary medical needs all the time will ironically cover "sex-change" operations. Who the hell needs a sex change operation any more than any of these famous stars' cosmetic surgery of course make them look worse than before!!