New Senate Democratic Majority Passes GENDA

(Brooklyn, NY) Senate Democrats passed the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) (S.1047) that prohibits discrimination based on gender identity or expression and adds transgender New Yorkers to those protected by the state’s Hate Crimes Law. The Senate also passed legislation (S.1046) prohibiting mental health professionals from engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with a patient under the age of 18 years old. Both bills were introduced by New York State Senator Brad Hoylman and supported by Senator Parker and the Senate Democratic Conference.

While the State Assembly has passed GENDA 10 consecutive times and Governor Cuomo has stated his support, the former Senate Republican Majority refused to allow this legislation for a vote.  New York has been the only state in the Northeast without statutory protections for its transgender citizens. Senator Parker said, “On this second historic day of the legislative session, I am proud that my colleagues in the legislature voted to pass the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) to add gender identity and gender expression as a protected classes in our state's human rights and hate crimes laws.”

“The Senate Democratic Conference and the Assembly Democrats have long advocated for prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, and for enhanced penalties for bias-motivated crimes. Finally today under the poised leadership of Leader Stewart-Cousins and the legislation's prime sponsor, Senator Brad Hoylman, individuals in New York State no longer have to live in fear that there is no recourse for discrimination based on their gender identity or expression,” concluded Senator Parker.

A 2016 National Transgender Discrimination Survey showed that 26% of transgender individuals lost a job due to bias, 50% were harassed on the job, 20% were evicted or denied housing, and 78% of transgender students were harassed or assaulted. The legislation to ban conversion therapy on minors also provides that any sexual orientation change efforts attempted on a patient under 18 years of age by a licensed mental health professional shall be considered unprofessional conduct and shall subject the provider to discipline by the provider's licensing entity. The Assembly has consistently passed this legislation since 2013, but the former Republican-controlled State Senate had blocked it. 


About Senator Kevin Parker:

Senator Kevin Parker represents the ethnically diverse Brooklyn district comprised of sections of Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood, Ditmas Park, Kensington, Windsor Terrace, and Park Slope.  A lifelong Brooklyn resident, Senator Parker has been recently appointed Chair of the Senate Committee on Energy and Telecommunication. For the 2019 Legislative Session, Senator Parker has the honor of serving on are the Senate Standing Committees on Finance; Rules; Alcoholism & Substance Abuse;  Insurance; and Banks.