GENDA Would Expand Hate Crimes Law to Include Crimes Against Transgender New Yorkers, Prohibit Discrimination Based on Gender Expression or Identity
ALBANY -- State Senator Daniel Squadron, the Senate sponsor of the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), is urging immediate Senate passage of his legislation following a spate of anti-LGBT attacks around New York.
GENDA (S195/Squadron - A4226/Gottfried) would prohibit discrimination against transgender New Yorkers when it comes to housing, employment, credit, and public accommodations, while expanding New York's hate crimes law to include crimes against transgender individuals.
Last month, the Assembly passed the legislation for the sixth time. Yet the Senate Republican leadership has continued to block a vote on the bill.
“Now more than ever it's vital that New York sends a strong message that intolerance, discrimination, and hate have no place here or anywhere,” said Senator Daniel Squadron. “Yet it's still possible for New Yorkers to be discriminated against because of their gender identity or expression. No one should lose their job, be evicted from their home, or denied basic public accommodations because of how they identify. Countless other states and municipalities have acted, yet New York remains behind. It's time to finally pass GENDA so that New York provides all people with the fairness and dignity they deserve.”
“The increase of hate violence targeting the LGBTQ community in Manhattan was marked most recently by the murder last week of a 32 year old gay man in the West Village. The New York we know is supposed to be safe and welcoming to people reflecting the broad range of human diversity,” said Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried, who sponsors the GENDA bill in the state Assembly. “We are long overdue to end the discrimination against people because of their gender identity. It is shameful that our state lags so many states, cities, counties and major employers across the country.”
Senator Brad Hoylman said, “The recent wave of anti-LGBT attacks only underscores the urgent need for the New York State Senate to pass GENDA. As long as New York State law permits discrimination against transgender New Yorkers, we are tacitly inviting hate speech and violence. It's long past time we stop treating transgender people as second-class citizens and give them equal protection under the law throughout our state. The State Senate needs to act now.”
Last fall, Squadron and Gottfried hosted a public forum on GENDA, at which local law enforcement, women's groups, transgender individuals and their families, and other advocates testified in support of the bill. Video, written testimony, and other resources from the forum are available here.