New York’s chances of joining other states in passing legislation that explicitly prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity are looking increasingly slim following the state’s Senate Committee voting against a transgender rights measure.
The Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, or GENDA, was defeated in the Republican-controlled, New York Senate Investigations & Government Operations Committee by a 5-4 party-line vote.
Aiming to amend the state’s human rights law to bar discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression, the measure would have seen transgender people specifically added to the state human rights law.
Surprisingly, New York remains one of three states in the United States, including New Hampshire, and Wisconsin, that currently has legislation barring anti-gay discrimination, but not anti-trans discrimination.
Openly gay State Senator, Brad Hoylman, who was the top Democrat on the committee, has described the defeat of the transgender rights bill in committee as “appalling.”
“Human rights shouldn’t be a partisan issue, and they aren’t in other states,” Hoylman said.
“Earlier this month, in fact, the Republican legislature in New Hampshire passed protections for LGBT people, making it possible that New York will soon be the only state in the northeast without statutory protections for its transgender citizens.”
Despite the measure failing to get the support it needed in committee, transgender people in New York still have recourse if they feel they’ve experienced discrimination on the basis of gender identity, thanks to a 2015 executive order ensuring gender discrimination laws also apply to transgender people.