ALBANY, N.Y. — The New York State Assembly this week approved the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), a bill to prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression in employment, housing, public accommodations and credit.
Currently, New York state’s Human Rights Law protects bars discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and has done so since 2003, but not gender identity.
“For too long, transgender New Yorkers have struggled to gain employment, safe housing and educational opportunities because of a loophole in our state’s Human Rights Law,” said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, in a statement.
“Through today’s approval of GENDA we hope to eradicate this discrimination and ensure a brighter future all New Yorkers regardless of their gender identity or expression,” he said.
The bill now moves to the State Senate, where Senate Sponsor Daniel Squadron will lead the charge to pass GENDA through the Investigations and Government Operations Committee and the full Senate.
The measure, which passed by a vote of 85 to 46, was first introduced in the New York state Assembly and Senate in 2003. The bill has passed six times in the Assembly since 2008, but has never come to a vote on the floor of the State Senate.
The District of Columbia, 16 states and several cities already have laws protecting gender identity and expression.