Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced he will issue an executive order prohibiting harassment and discrimination on the basis of gender identity, transgender status, or gender dysphoria, according to state officials.
Gov. Cuomo made the move after previous attempts to pass legislation protecting the transgender community from discrimination failed to get approval in the Senate, which is led by Republicans.
Cuomo announced the regulations in a speech at the Empire State Pride Agenda’s fall dinner, where he was honored with the group’s Silver Torch award.
“The scourge of harassment and discrimination against transgender individuals is well-known, and has also has gone largely unanswered for too long,” he stated. “New York has always been a beacon for the country on LGBT rights. We started the movement at Stonewall, we led the way with marriage equality, and now we are continuing to show the nation the path forward. We will not tolerate discrimination, or harassment against transgender people, anywhere in the state of New York, period.”
Empire State Pride Agenda has been advocating for the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) for years, which would have protected transgender people from discrimination under the existing Human Right law.
According to state officials, Cuomo’s regulations will put regulations including protections from harassment and discrimination by both public and private entities, into action under the same law.
“After years of tireless advocacy, we’ve won a tremendous victory for transgender civil rights with Gov. Cuomo’s announcement tonight,” Nathan Schaefer, executive director of the Empire State Pride Agenda (ESPA), stated.
Previously, New York had limited pockets of legal protection for transgender people because of municipal ordinances, or laws, that also banned harassment or discrimination, to varying degrees. However, many municipalities did not guarantee these protections, according to the state, and there had been no statewide ban on discrimination or harassment for individuals not employed by the state.
“The governor’s action today will ensure that all transgender individuals do not lose their rights simply by traveling from one county or city to another,” state officials said.
Visit https://www.governor.ny.gov/sites/governor.ny.gov/files/atoms/files/GenderIdentityRegulation.pdf to view the new regulations.