Dispatches from the fight against homelessness and AIDS
Posted by Sunny Bjerk , May 07, 2013
Image from GENDA bill sponsor Senator Daniel Squadron’s flickr page.
Over the weekend, the Times Union Editorial Board published a letter about the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), calling for the same action that Housing Works has been calling for in our own Change.org petition: “It’s time for Senate Republicans to stop holding up a vote on the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act.”
This letter and its bold criticism of the New York Senate for blockading GENDA is remarkable not only because it comes from a news outlet, but also because the paper’s main audience is the state’s Capitol Region—Albany, Schenectady, Troy, Rensselaer and Saratoga—cities that have generally been reluctant to pass the bill in years past.
The Times Union Editorial Board goes on to argue that bringing GENDA to a vote is not “politically risky,” despite many Senators’ fears and reluctant to cast votes on GENDA during an election year. “A 2011 national poll by the Public Religion Research Institute found overwhelming support—89 percent—for equal rights and protections for transgender people, including 86 percent among Republicans.” They also go one to note that at least sixteen states have passed similar legislation, ending their piece by stating, “It’s time for New York to catch up and do the right and decent thing.”
And Housing Works could not be in more agreement with the Times Union’s piece. There is no ifs, ands, or buts about it: The Empire State is severely falling behind in LGBT rights. Sixteen states and over 160 cities and counties nationwide have gender expression non-discrimination protections, but New York State does not.
Housing Works is demanding that the Senate bring GENDA to a floor vote this year. Transgender and gender conforming New Yorkers have waited far too long for GENDA to pass. Truth be told, their rights, protections, and equal access should never have to be voted on, but in this imperfect world, we are tethered, for better or worse, to the democratic process.
Join us in the fight for GENDA to come to a vote in 2013. Please re-share this post and sign onto our petition now at change.org.
Tell the New York Senate that is time to usher in an era of true statewide equality across the Empire State.
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