(Albany, NY) Senator David Carlucci along with the Senate Democratic Majority passed groundbreaking legislation to improve the lives of LGBTQIA members and families in New York State. The bills passed, include the Modern Family Act, which will allow same-sex couples to grow their families using a paid surrogate so they no longer have to leave the state to have children.
“We must ensure equal treatment under the law for our LGBTQIA communities,” said Senator David Carlucci. “LGBTQIA parents should be able to grow their families just like other couples. LGBTQIA veterans who selflessly serve our country should not lose their eligibility for state programs or benefits because of their sexual identity. And we should be looking for ways we can reduce suicide among our LGBTQIA youth. While LGBTQIA rights have come a long way, 50 years since the Stonewall Riots, we see there is still more we must change.”
The historic legislation passed by the Senate Democratic Majority includes:
- The Modern Family Act (S.2071) – will allow same-sex couples to grow their families using a paid surrogate so they no longer have to leave the state to have children. Also provides clear and decisive legal procedures to ensure children born through assisted reproduction and surrogacy have secure and legally recognized parental relationships with their intended parents.
- Abolishing “Gay Panic” Defense (S.3293) - limits the use of gay and trans “panic” defenses in a court of law when a person is charged with murder in the second degree. The Gay and trans panic defense is a legal strategy used by defense teams to justify a murder by using the victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity to blame for the defendant’s violent reaction. The most well-known case where this strategy was used was in the death of 21-year-old college student, Matthew Shepard in 1998. The two men sentenced for beating him to death claimed they exploded in outrage when Shepard made an unwanted sexual advance. While the case ended with both men in prison for life, these legal tactics are still used today and in recent cases.
- LGBTQ Suicide Prevention Task Force (S.6315) - will establish the LGBTQ Youth and Young Adult Suicide Prevention Task Force to examine, evaluate, and determine how to improve mental health and suicide prevention for New York's LGBTQ youth and young adults up to the age of 24. According to research done by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention in 2016, LGBTQ youth seriously contemplate suicide almost three times the rate of heterosexual youth.
- NYS Restoration of Honor Act (S.45-B) - will restore eligibility for state programs and benefits for LGBTQ veterans and veterans with certain qualifying conditions who were less than honorably discharged from military service due solely to their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression or those who received less than honorable discharges as a result of military sexual trauma, traumatic brain injury, or post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Gender Identity Data (S.6321) - will require the collection of additional demographic information, for an improved understanding of the diversity of the state's LGBTQ community and its needs and experiences.