It’s another win for LGBTIQ persons in New York as both houses of the legislature passed bills to ban discrimination based on gender identity and to prohibit the use of conversion therapy on minors.
Recorded as a success of 16 years of tenacity, the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act was passed in 2002, but the Gender Identity Non-Discrimination Act [GENDA] stalled.
“After a protracted 16-year battle, the Democratic majority will finally be able to shield transgender and gender-nonconforming New Yorkers from discrimination and hate,” said a statement issued by Sen. Brad Hoylman, the bill’s sponsor according to a report on the ADVOCATE.
Ethan Rice, senior attorney with Lambda Legal’s Fair Courts Project, said in a press release published on the ADVOCATE, “Passing GENDA is a long overdue action to protect one of the most vulnerable communities in our state. Transgender New Yorkers still face disproportionate rates of violence, discrimination, and harassment and this law is an important step in combating that injustice. Lambda Legal expresses great appreciation to the New York Legislature for prioritizing passage of GENDA in its first week in session,”
“New York Governor Andrew Cuomo prohibited so-called “conversion therapy” in New York by executive order in 2016, and the legislation passed today will permanently protect youth from the practice under state law. There is no credible evidence that conversion therapy can change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. To the contrary, research has clearly shown that these practices pose devastating health risks for LGBTQ young people such as depression, decreased self-esteem, substance abuse, homelessness, and even suicidal behavior. The harmful practice is condemned by every major medical and mental health organization, including the American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association and American Medical Association” Human Rights Campaign reports.
“It’s just happening at lightning speed,” said Lesh in a report on the Daily Beast. “After 17 years of fighting so hard, in one day it’s so clear how elections really matter.”