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Civil Rights

Finally! Executive Action in NY Gives Transgender Citizens Equal Protection

— October 23, 2015

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has had enough of the Republican-run State Senate blocking legislation to protect transgender citizens. Year after year, the Democrat-lead State Assembly has passed such protective measures only to have them shot down in the Senate. Gov. Cuomo has decided to take executive action, instructing the State Division of Human Rights to issue regulations granting equal protection under the law to transgender New Yorkers.

It’s a banner week in New York for transgender residents. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that he is taking action to address a long-standing issue: transgender discrimination. Year after year, the Democrat-run State Assembly has passed legislation to right this wrong only to have the Republican-run State Senate shoot it down. Gov. Cuomo, also a Democrat, has had enough. Executive action in NY gives transgender citizens equal protection.


This awesome move on the part of Gov. Cuomo was announced at a dinner the Empire State Pride Agenda, a well-known LGBTQ rights advocacy group. Gov. Cuomo is directing the State Division of Human Rights to promulgate regulations that expand existing anti-discrimination protections in a 1945 law such that they now cover “gender identity, transgender status and gender dysphoria.”

Roughly one dozen New York municipalities, including the Big Apple, have had such protections for quite some time.

The Empire State Pride Agenda issued the following press release:

“After years of tireless advocacy, we’ve won a tremendous victory for transgender civil rights with Governor Cuomo’s announcement tonight,” said the Executive Director of the Empire State Pride Agenda, Nathan Schaefer. Pride Agenda Board Co-Chairs Melissa Sklarz and Norman C. Simon added, “This victory will only quicken our stride as Pride Agenda keeps moving toward winning full equality and justice for LGBT New Yorkers.”

The Governor will instruct state agencies and introduce regulations to prohibit harassment and discrimination on the basis of gender identity, transgender status, and gender dysphoria in the areas of public and private housing, employment, credit, education and public accommodations. These regulations will carry the full force of law as the New York State Division of Human Rights has statutory authority under Executive Law 2995 to promulgate regulations interpreting the Human Rights Law.


NEW YORK: Gov. Andrew Cuomo To Issue Executive Order Protecting Trans Citizens From Discrimination

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