On Tuesday, April 28th activists gathered in Albany for the Empire State Pride Agenda’s annual Equality and Justice Day to lobby and rally. This year, once again, the focus was on building support for the transgender non-discrimination bill.
New York is one of only three states which protect people from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation but not on the basis of gender identity. In many places in New York it is still legal to fire someone or deny them a job, deny someone housing or discriminate in lending transactions and public accommodations just because they are transgendered.
GENDA(Gender Expression Non- Discrimination Act) or commonly referred to as the transgender equality bill will protect the transgendered person from this horrible discrimination. The bill has already been passed through the Assembly seven times but keeps getting stuck in committee in the Senate.
If you were not able to attend and would like to help please call or write your NY State Senator and ask them to please pass The Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act(GENDA). GENDA would outlaw discrimination in New York State based on gender identity or expression. All people should be treated equally and just! If you need to find contact information for your NYS Senator go to www.nysenate.gov/senators.
Two other Legislature Priorities that were addressed this year was a law that would ban the archaic practice of conversion therapy on LGBT youth and the Child-Parent Security Act(CPSA). Trying to change someone’s true identity through so-called conversion therapy is a dangerous practice that can seriously harm our LGBT youth.
These archaic practices in which licensed therapists use rejection, shame and psychological and physical abuse to force young people to change can lead to depression, decreased self-esteem, substance abuse and even suicide. This bill will set forth a law to ban this practice. The CPSA will define a child’s legal parent without the arduous an invasive process of second parent adoption. It will also make it legal in New York State for a couple to have a child with the assistance of a gestational carrier or surrogate. It will remove the ban on surrogacy.
On April 29th, the day after the Equality and Justice Day, the New York State Assembly passed with bipartisan support the bill to protect LGBT youth from the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy. Please help us call on the Senate to swiftly pass this bill along with GENDA and get both bills to Governor Cuomo’s desk for his signature this session which ends in mid-June.