Albany, NY (May 8, 2013) – State Senator Brad Hoylman (D, WFP – Manhattan) hailed an economic impact study released yesterday by a UCLA Law School think tank showing that employment and housing discrimination against transgender individuals costs New York millions of dollars annually as strong new evidence for Senate passage of the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, or GENDA (S195/Squadron – A4226/Gottfried). GENDA would prohibit this kind of discrimination against transgender New Yorkers.
The Williams Institute study, entitled “The Cost of Employment and Housing Discrimination against Transgender Residents of New York,” says that workplace discrimination against transgender individuals costs New York more than $1 million annually in state Medicaid expenditures and up to $5.9 million annually in federal and state housing program expenditures. Passage of a statewide anti-discrimination statute such as GENDA to cover the estimated 23,800 transgender people not protected by local anti-discrimination ordinances would have a positive impact on the New York State budget, according to the report.
“The evidence is in. Discrimination against the transgender community is costing New York millions of dollars each year,” said Senator Hoylman, who is a Co-Sponsor of the GENDA legislation with Prime Sponsor Senator Daniel Squadron, and is the only openly-gay member of the New York State Senate. “Not only is discrimination wrong, it’s expensive. It’s time that the Senate leadership moves GENDA to the floor for consideration by my colleagues, who I think will be further convinced of the wisdom of passing GENDA by the economic impact enumerated in the Williams Institute report.”
The Williams Institute Report for the first time quantified, based on the latest U.S. Census data, the number of transgender New Yorkers across the state without discrimination protection at the local level.
“It shocks the conscience that nearly 24,000 New Yorkers can be fired from their jobs or be evicted from their homes merely because of their gender identity or expression,” Senator Hoylman added. “I take this report as a call to action for all fair-minded New Yorkers to support GENDA and end discrimination.”
The GENDA bill, Prime Sponsored in the New York State Assembly by Assembly Member Dick Gottfried, overwhelmingly passed the Democratic-controlled Assembly on April 30, 2013 for the sixth consecutive year, but has never been reported out of committee in the Senate, which is currently controlled by Republicans and the four-member Independent Democratic Conference. 16 other states and the District of Columbia have already passed similar non-discrimination laws.
A PDF of the Williams Institute report can be found here.