NY Governor Signs Non-Discrimination Order

December 16 - Today New York Governor David A. Paterson signed an Executive Order prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity and expression for state employees.  The Executive Order ensures that all state employees, including transgender people, who present their gender in a way that is different from that which is traditionally associated with their sex assigned at birth are protected from workplace discrimination.

The ability to provide for ourselves and our families is non-negotiable and we applaud Governor Paterson for his commitment to the transgender community.

We’ve posted photos from the signing ceremony (courtesy of Laura Vogel) below.  We've also posted video of the entire ceremony.  Rather than embedding numerous videos here, we've posted them on TLDEFTube, our YouTube channel.  We hope you'll enjoy viewing them.

With the signing of this order, New York becomes the ninth state to offer its employees protection from the on-the-job discrimination based on gender identity or expression.  New York joins Delaware, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania in providing such protection.

According to a recent survey by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality, 47% of transgender people report being fired, or denied a job or promotion, just because of who they are.

Few protections exist for transgender people who experience employment discrimination.  In 38 states, there is no law protecting transgender people from being fired because of who they are.  Federal law similarly offers little in the way of job protection for transgender people.

Governor Paterson's executive order catapults New York to the forefront of the national struggle for transgender equal rights.  But New York’s not done yet.  We still need GENDA, the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, which would extend the same protections that Governor Paterson today granted to state employees to all New Yorkers.  We've worked hard in the past to educate people about the need for employment protections for transgender workers in New York and elsewhere, and we vow to continue to work to ensure that New Yorkers and people all around the nation are educated about the devastating impact that employment discrimination has on the lives of transgender people.

We owe a debt of gratitude to our friends and allies at organizations like the Empire State Pride Agenda and NYAGRA, as well as to all of the members of the GENDA Coalition, who have worked ceaselessly to see this day come to pass.