A bill that sought to prohibit
transgender discrimination died in New York as the legislative
session came to a close Thursday night.
The Gender Expression Nondiscrimination
Act (GENDA) would have added transgender people to New York's hate
crimes law and protected them from discrimination in the areas of
employment, housing and accommodations.
While the Assembly has approved the
bill 8 times since it was first introduced 12 years ago – most
recently earlier this month – and Governor Andrew Cuomo has pledged
his signature, the New York Senate has yet to vote on GENDA.
Groups lobbying for passage, including
HRC, Empire State Pride Agenda and the NY Trans Rights Coalition,
held a press conference earlier this month calling on the Senate to
“It is time for the Senate to stop
blocking the measure and for Senate President John Flanagan … to
bring GENDA up for a vote before the end of the session,” HRC said
in a blog post.
Michael Silverman, executive director
of the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF), called
the Senate's inaction “shameful.”
“Albany has once again failed
transgender New Yorkers by refusing to pass GENDA,” Silverman said
in a statement. “The Senate's inaction on this vital bill is
shameful. While our state Senators continue to drag their feet on
this issue, transgender New Yorkers remain in harm's way, vulnerable
to discrimination at every turn with no legal recourse.”
Nineteen states have approved similar