Squadron pushes bill prohibiting transgender discrimination
Says civil rights are under attack under Trump
State Sen. Daniel Squadron filed a motion on Monday to force a vote on a bill that would prohibit discrimination against transgender and other gender-nonconforming New Yorkers. The bill would also classify crimes related to gender identity as hate crimes.
The Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) has passed the state Assembly numerous times. Versions of the bill have been introduced in the Senate repeatedly since 2009 without being acted on.
Squadron’s motion requires that GENDA be placed on the Senate’s Investigations and Government Operations Committee agenda within 45 days. Forcing a committee vote would help make clear where senators stand on the bill. Three of the bill’s 21 current co-sponsors sit on the committee.
On Feb. 22, the Trump administration rescinded federal guidelines allowing transgender students to use public school restrooms matching their gender identity. On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered an appeals court in Virginia to review its decision allowing a transgender student, Gavin Grimm, to sue over his choice of bathrooms.
“At a time when basic civil rights are under attack nationwide, New York has an opportunity to codify civil rights protections and show that discrimination has no place in our state,” Squadron said in a statement.
He added, “With the Assembly on track to pass GENDA for a 10th time, the Senate majority should support basic equality and fairness for transgender New Yorkers.”
GENDA would prohibit discrimination against transgender people in housing, employment and public accommodations and include offenses regarding gender identity or expression under the hate crimes statute.
In New York state, a hate crime occurs when someone intentionally commits an offense against a person because of a belief relating to the victim’s race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, age, disability or sexual orientation. GENDA would add offenses regarding gender identity or expression to the list.
The bill has the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo.
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