News (USA)

N.Y. state assembly passes gender expression non-discrimination act, again

ALBANY, N.Y. — The New York State Assembly on Tuesday again approved the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), a bill to prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression.

New York state capitol in Albany
New York state capitol in Albany

It is the seventh time the measure has passed in the Assembly, but has never come to a vote on the floor of the State Senate.

Currently, New York state’s Human Rights Law bars discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and has done so since 2003, but not gender identity.

“The experience of transgender individuals and the discrimination they face, are unique and should be specifically identified and unambiguously rejected in our state’s laws, just like discrimination based on age, sex, sexual orientation, religion, race, disability or ethnicity,” said Assemblyman Richard N. Gottfried, the bill’s sponsor.

The measure, which passed by a vote of 78 to 44, was first introduced in the New York state Assembly and Senate in 2003, would prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression in employment, housing, public accommodations and credit.

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The bill would also expand the state’s hate crime protections to explicitly include crimes against transgender people.

The bill now heads to the New York Senate Investigations and Government Operations Committee.

“In the interest of fairness, GENDA appropriately provides long overdue civil rights protections to the transgender community,” said Assemblymember Deborah Glick. “I urge the Senate to embrace the 21st Century and pass GENDA so the full measure of the state’s anti-discrimination laws can be strengthened to benefit all New Yorkers.”

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