Call for Trans Rights on Anniversary of NY Gay Marriage Law


LGBT rights groups in New York, celebrating on June 21 the one year anniversary of the state’s gay marriage law, have called for a new push to promote trans equality.

Said Equality State Pride Agenda in a press release:

The Empire State Pride Agenda, New York’s leading lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights and advocacy organization, today marked the one-year anniversary of the passage of the Marriage Equality Act by calling for further action to protect the rights of LGBT New Yorkers.

Lynn Faria, Interim Executive Director said: “One year ago, the Pride Agenda celebrated a monumental achievement for all New Yorkers. In fact, we’ve spent the last 12 months celebrating. At weddings from Montauk to Niagara Falls, LGBT New Yorkers have legally confirmed what we’ve known all along — that nothing is more universally human than the love between two people. We thank Governor Cuomo for his friendship and bold leadership, and we applaud members of the legislature who stood in solidarity with us by voting to defend the rights of their constituents.

“While marriage equality was a transformational win, our work is far from done. Thousands of New Yorkers who are transgender still don’t have the basic protections that so many take for granted.

“The Pride Agenda won’t stop fighting until all LGBT people have the same protections as other residents of the state — it’s a matter of life and death, and it’s the right thing to do. Though this legislative session may be over, we will continue to push for the passage of a transgender civil right bill until justice has been achieved.”

As part of this push, a $3,000 Callamus Foundation grant will be put, in part, to educating young people about gender identity and expression issues and to support moves to pass a gender identity and expression-inclusive nondiscrimination act, though the money must be used for educational purposes and not direct lobbying efforts.

The 2011 push for marriage equality saw several Republican lawmakers vote with an overwhelming majority of Democratic senators to support a marriage equality bill. This advance was largely put down to fierce wrangling behind the scenes by Governor Andrew Cuomo’s.

Cuomo is also known to support moves to advance a trans rights bill. However, a year on, and with the legislative session now closed, a trans discrimination bill has not been moved.

The legislation, known as the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), passed the New York Assembly with broad bipartisan support earlier this year, but it was not taken up by the Senate. The legislation has been approved by the lower chamber in the 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 sessions, each time dying in the hands of the Senate.

As such, it is still legal for New York employers to fire a transgender identifying worker, and for a trans person to be kicked out of their rented accommodation simply because of their identity.

GENDA would change that by extending basic civil rights protections to cover trans citizens 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.

Sixteen states and the District of Columbia already have similar laws on the books, while several NY cities including Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, Ithaca, New York City and Rochester, having trans-inclusive nondiscrimination laws.

Related Reading:

Landmark Employment Ruling Protects Trans Rights

Latina Trans Women Report Violence & Harassment from Police

Obama Won’t Sign LGBT Discrimination Ban Anytime Soon


Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to Kaitlyn Tikkun.


Kath N.
Kath N.5 years ago

CIVIL RIGHTS ? we all have the same civil rights.. you want to change your sex or mutalate your body. go ahead pay for it yourself.. if i want bigger breasts or a tummy tuck i have to pay for it.. its all in the mind , it starts as a tiny seed. no one is born into a female / male body but is really the opposite. its in the head. period

Kath N.
Kath N.5 years ago

WE are all equal. men are equal..women are equal.. there is no other EQUAL..because there is no other SEX other than perverted SEX. two sexes, many choices.

mike l.
mike lueras5 years ago

i was intimidated (bullied?) into silence in 1959 kindergarten Miami Florida for being to loud while maybe black maybe hispanic - if you MIGHT BE black especially then YOU ARE in a racist slavery based nation like the u.s.a. - then when i clammed up i was berated for going into my "shell" - you WILL NOT please the powers (white supremacy - evil spirit) that be in a nation based primarily on slavery like the good ole u.s.a. - as long as white supremacy is the governing (evil) spirit of the u.s.a. bullying WILL NEVER END!!!!!!!!!!!! Maybe 40 lashes on the athletic field for a second offense of bullying would stop it - but then Allah has a better punishment: "I will fill Hell with jinn and men". But in order for bullies and other evildoers (those who are perennially dedicated to doing unto others what they would not have done to them) to be deserving of a fate worse than death which ONLY ALLAH can administer they have to exceed all bounds so that there is no doubt that they are deserving of that most miserable fate, amen? So you can reasonably expect "bullying" to continue ("Such things must be and the end is not yet".) And when you consider that the u.s.a. is based on 400 continuing years of race-based slavery (bullying?) and when you consider that the u.s.a. has been "bullying" ("Walk softly and carry a big stick".) most of the nations of the third world through imperialistic neo-colonialist wars for about 150 years now it should come as no surprise that "bullying" is popular

Jen Matheson
Past Member 5 years ago

Good for them, they are amazing people!

John Mansky
John Mansky5 years ago

You are,what you were born with,NOT,what you wish to be!!!

John B.
John B5 years ago

Good for the The Empire State Pride Agenda group. Discrimination in all forms must be challenged at all levels including educating people, political action and judicial review. Thanks Steve for the article.

Mari Garcia
Mari Garcia5 years ago

How the hell is IVF covered by health insurance but not sexual reassignment surgery? One is an actual issue, the other is really not needed.

Debra Griffin
Missy G5 years ago


Kathleen P.

Transgender people have life and death issues that need addressing. Just the assignment of housing when arrested is one clear area that needs to be taken seriously among many. Time to look at the bigger picture and see to full civil rights for all our citizens.