January 20, 2016
TLDEF Applauds New Protections for Transgender New Yorkers!
New York, NY - The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) responded to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s announcement that the New York State Division of Human Rights has adopted new regulations that protect transgender New Yorkers from discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, and credit. The proposed rules were issued in November and they underwent a comment period before officially going into effect today. TLDEF submitted comments to the New York State Division of Human Rights in December, expressing support for the regulations. The new protections will extend the reach of the New York State Human Rights Law that already bars discrimination on the basis of sex and disability.
In adopting the regulations, Governor Cuomo said: “Today we are sending the message loud and clear that New York will not stand for discrimination against transgender people. It is intolerable to allow harassment or discrimination against anyone, and the transgender community has been subjected to a second-class status for far too long. This is an issue of basic justice and I am proud that New York is continuing to lead the way forward.”
Statement from TLDEF Executive Director Michael Silverman
“We strongly applaud Governor Cuomo and the New York State Division of Human Rights for taking this vital executive action to prohibit discrimination against transgender New Yorkers. With the State Senate’s continued failure to pass the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), these regulations are expected to give transgender residents protections that they have been lacking for far too long.
“The regulations will protect transgender people from being fired from their jobs, thrown out of their homes and denied basic public services just because of who they are. These protections are long past due and we thank the Governor for making this a priority in the face of sustained inaction on GENDA by the Senate. Transgender people in New York continue to suffer and this bold step will help improve their lives.
“Even with these new rules, we continue to urge state lawmakers to make GENDA a priority, as it would formally add ‘gender identity and expression’ to the text of the existing Human Rights Law, and also expand New York’s hate crimes law to bring transgender people within its scope. It is unconscionable that lawmakers have allowed it to languish for more than a decade.”