Wednesday, March 3, 2010
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"GENDA" Passes Assembly

ALBANY - The bill to protect transgender people under the State Human Rights Law was approved by the Assembly today by a vote of 91-40, with bi-partisan support.  The Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) is now in the State Senate Investigations and Government Operations Committee.  If it passes the Senate, Governor David Paterson has said he will sign it into law.

"This is an important and overdue protection of human rights," said Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried, sponsor of bill, A.5710-A.  "The experience of transgender individuals, and the discrimination they face, are unique, and should be specifically identified and unambiguously rejected in our State's civil rights laws, just like discrimination based on age, sex, sexual orientation, religion, race, disability, or ethnicity."

The transgender community is not protected under current state law.

"By eliminating the fear of losing their jobs, homes, and fair treatment in communities across the state, we can make certain that every New Yorker receives equal opportunities regardless of gender identity," said Gottfried.

Albany, Buffalo, Ithaca, New York City, and Rochester, and the counties of Suffolk and Tompkins have already enacted local GENDA laws.  Thirteen states, Washington, D.C., and over 90 other localities across the country have passed transgender-inclusive civil rights legislation.  Over 150 Fortune 500 companies, including 26 located in New York State, have policies in place to protect their transgender workers.