ALBANY, N.Y. – Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris and the Senate Majority passed legislation that will provide greater protections and services for New York’s LGBTQ community. The bills advanced by the Senate Democratic Majority will establish the Modern Family Act, abolish the use of “Gay Panic or Trans Panic” defense, and create the transgender youth and young adult suicide prevention task force. The Senate Majority will also pass the New York State Restoration of Honor Act that will correct the records of veterans discharged from the military because of their sexual orientation.
Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris said, “In New York State, love always wins. I was honored to cast one of the deciding votes for marriage equality and continued to fight for full equality earlier this session when we passed GENDA and a ban on conversion therapy. Now we proudly march through Pride Month with an additional ambitious agenda to make New York fairer for the LGBTQ community.”
The historic legislation passed by the Senate Democratic Majority includes:
The Modern Family Act: This bill, S.2071, sponsored by Senator Brad Hoylman, will lift the existing ban on genetic surrogacy and provide 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: This bill, S.3293, sponsored by Senator Brad Hoylman, will limit the use of extreme emotional disturbance as an affirmative defense, commonly known as the “Gay Panic” or “Trans Panic” defense, to a charge of murder in the second degree.
LGBTQ Suicide Prevention Task Force: This bill, S.6315, sponsored by Senator Julia Salazar, 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.
NYS Restoration of Honor Act: This bill, S.45-B, sponsored by Senator Brad Hoylman, 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: This bill, S.6321, sponsored by Senator Kevin Thomas, 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.
Senator Gianaris has been a staunch advocate of the LGBTQ community his entire time in office, including serving as a decisive vote in support of marriage equality in 2011.