Last night Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that he had directed the Department of Human Rights to create new regulations to protect transgender New Yorker’s from discrimination in public and private housing, employment, credit, education and public accommodations at the Empire State Pride Agenda dinner.
Now, ALL LGBT New Yorker’s will have the support of New York State in the face of unconscionable discrimination. While I Thank Governor Cuomo and his administration for standing up for equality for transgender New Yorker’s
I congratulate the countless transgender activists and allies across the state who have led this fight – including our own Melissa Sklarz, LaLa Zannell,Sean Coleman and many others as well as myself for our continous efforts for the passage of GENDA all these years. Our work and determination in achieving anti-discrimination protections for trans New Yorkers has lead to another step forward in achieving full LGBT equality.
October 22, 2015– New York City — Governor Andrew M. Cuomo receives the Silver Torch Award from Lady Gaga’s mother, Cynthia Germanottam at the Empire State Pride Agenda Fall Dinner at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel Thursday October 22, 2015. During his acceptance speech, Governor Cuomo introduced regulations through the New York State Human Rights Law that unequivocally bans harassment and discrimination against transgender people. These regulations affirm that all transgender individuals are protected under the State’s Human Rights Law, and all public and private employers, housing providers, businesses, creditors and others should know that discrimination against transgender persons is unlawful and will not be tolerated anywhere in the State of New York. (Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of the Governor)
Though there is a fear of a future administration coming in and undoing this action by Governor Cuomo, even a passing of GENDA won’t be enough. The only way we can ensure LGBT individuals have full equal rights from their home to the office and everywhere in between is to stand up, stand together and continue to elect pro-equality officials. Without pro-equality elected officials at the helm, fighting for us, our friends, families and communities, there will always be a fear of going backwards.
As we move into the 2016 election year, we will be very focused on who will be our next President. But we can’t forget our Senate, Congressional and State elections. All politics is local. And if we don’t get out the vote to elect pro-equality legislators in every race, we will continue to be held back from achieving full equality in New York State.