NEW YORK -- Today, State Senator Daniel Squadron, the Senate sponsor of the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), released the following statement in response to the tragic death of Islan Nettles, a transgender woman who was assaulted in Harlem last weekend and succumbed to her injuries yesterday:
"The death of Islan Nettles -- a transgender woman who was the victim of a possible hate crime -- is horrifying and tragic.
"Islan was 21 years old. 21 years old. And her life and future were stolen from her.
"Let's be clear: intolerance, discrimination, and hate have no place in New York or anywhere.
"Each outrage is another call: It's time for New York to send that message loudly and clearly by finally passing GENDA.
"GENDA would expand New York's hate crime laws to explicitly include crimes against transgender individuals. And it would ensure that transgender New Yorkers are protected from discrimination -- so that no one loses their job or is evicted from their home or denied basic public accommodations because of how they identify.
"We must pass GENDA now, in the name of Islan and all victims of hate and intolerance."
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 crime laws to include crimes against transgender individuals.
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.