On October 22nd New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order to add gender identity to the gay discrimination act which was passed in 2002. According to CBS New York, transgender discrimination was dropped from the original bill because law makers felt the measure would not pass if it were included. The state’s Division of Human Rights in turn has issued a regulation that would interpret the current anti-discrimination law to prohibit discrimination against transgender individuals.
“It is intolerable to allow discrimination of transgender individuals, and they are one of the most abused, harassed groups in society today.” – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
The new measure will cover jobs, loans, schools and public accommodations while applying to all business public or private. Governor Cuomo has been quoted as stating it was time to right a terrible wrong. This action comes after years of unsuccessful attempts to pass the proposed Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, or GENDA which would have granted these protections in New York State. Following the action Governor Cuomo took to twitter to release the following statement:
“We will not tolerate discrimination or harassment against transgender people anywhere in New York State—period.” – Governor Cuomo via Twitter
So we say congratulations to New York State where it is now illegal to discriminate against individuals on the basis of gender Identity and expression. New York is now the 18th state to have such protections.