Governor Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday announced that new regulations protecting transgender New Yorkers from discrimination had taken effect.

Cuomo introduced the regulations in October, marking the first time any governor has issued statewide regulations to prohibit harassment and discrimination on the basis of gender identity, according to the governor's office.

“Today we are sending the message loud and clear that New York will not stand for discrimination against transgender people,” said Cuomo. “It is intolerable to allow harassment or discrimination against anyone, and the transgender community has been subjected to a second-class status for far too long. This is an issue of basic justice and I am proud that New York is continuing to lead the way forward.”

Cuomo, a Democrat, directed the State Division of Human Rights to issue regulations clarifying that a 1945 law which prohibits discrimination based on sex extends to transgender people. That law prohibits discrimination in employment, housing, credit and public accommodations.

Legislation to address such issues – the Gender Expression Nondiscrimination Act, or GENDA – has repeatedly stalled in the New York Senate, which is controlled by Republicans.

HRC said that the move makes New York the 20th state to explicitly protect transgender people from discrimination.