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AIDS Issues Update Blog

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Syracuse Passes Gender Expression and Identity Protections!

Posted by Sunny Bjerk , November 21, 2012

Syracuse Passes Gender Expression and Identity Protections!

Image from Syracuse.com

Yesterday, on the national Transgender Day of Remembrance, when communities, friends and family remember and honor those who we have lost, we are happy to share some positive news.

The city of Syracuse just passed a bill—7-1, in fact—that adds gender identity and gender expression to its Fair Practices Law, banning discrimination in education, employment, public accommodations, and housing. By adding gender identity and expression to its non-discrimination laws, Syracuse joins the growing list of New York cities and counties that protect transgender and gender non-conforming residents from harassment and discrimination.

Currently Buffalo, Ithaca, Rochester, Syracuse, and six other New York municipalities that have passed similar legislation. Despite these successes, however, there are still cities and counties in the State that do not prohibit discrimination based on perceived or actual gender identity or expression. As Housing Works’ Vice President of NYC Advocacy and Public Policy terri smith-caronia noted at the GENDA Public Forum in October, the unevenness of gender expression/identity protections across the State raise particular concerns when people travel across New York State lose protections just because they are in a different city or county.

Fortunately, Syracuse’s win for gender non-conforming and transgender folks creates huge momentum for us as we move into the 2013 and work to have gender expression non-discrimination protections all across the state for everyone, not just the fortunate few who live in protected cities and counties.

Want to join us? Excellent! Stay tuned for ways you can help us pass GENDA in 2013.

Follow the Update blog on Twitter @housingworks.

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