Posted by Melanie Nathan, June 25, 2015.
New York, NY – The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) denounces the New York State Senate’s failure to pass the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act. The bill would have added transgender people to New York’s hate crimes law and protected them from discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations. The bill was not brought up for a vote before the legislative session came to a close today, ending its chances for passage this session. The legislation has passed the New York State Assembly 8 times since it was first introduced 12 years ago, but the Senate has never voted on it. Governor Andrew Cuomo has voiced support for GENDA and promised to sign it into law if it ultimately passes.
Statement from TLDEF Executive Director Michael Silverman
“Albany has once again failed transgender New Yorkers by refusing to pass GENDA. The Senate’s inaction on this vital bill is shameful. While our state Senators continue to drag their feet on this issue, transgender New Yorkers remain in harm’s way, vulnerable to discrimination at every turn with no legal recourse.
“This setback means that transgender people can still be fired from their jobs, thrown out of their homes and denied basic public services just because of who they are. They face an extraordinarily high risk of violence, yet will remain unprotected under New York’s hate crimes law as a result of the Senate’s inaction.
“Nineteen other states have laws that protect their transgender residents from discrimination. New York’s continued failure to enact such legislation is inexcusable. We stand with transgender activists throughout the state who continue to fight for equality in the face of Albany’s failure to act. We join them in telling Albany that we will not rest until GENDA becomes law.”