Dispatches from the fight against homelessness and AIDS
Posted by Sunny Bjerk , April 22, 2013
Today Housing Works will host a press conference to urge the New York State Legislature to bring the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) to a full vote in 2013. As part of the press conference, GENDA bill sponsors Senator Daniel Squadron and Assemblymember Richard Gottfried will help unveil Housing Works’ new campaign in support of the transgender civil rights bill, including a new photo campaign of Housing Works’ transgender clients who have faced discrimination because of their gender expression and identity. Other campaign materials, including a series of infographics and other print materials, will be rolled out over the next few weeks at www.passgendanow.org.
Housing Works, which fights to end the dual crises of HIV/AIDS and homelessness, has many LGBT clients who have been refused services or care because of their gender identity or expression and has been at the forefront to pass GENDA since the bill’s inception in 2003. According to research from the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, 17% of transgender New Yorkers reported being refused medical care due to their gender identity or expression, and another 29% reported postponing medical care because of the fear of discrimination.
“A disproportionate number of transgender individuals are living with HIV or AIDS, yet they are also battling an increased rate of discrimination in healthcare. This practice puts everyone at risk,” said Housing Works’ President and CEO Charles King.
Over the last decade, GENDA has been passed by the NY Assembly in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012, but has faced steep opposition from Senate Republicans, which has stalled the bill by refusing to bring it to a floor vote. Housing Works’ is currently promoting a petition asking the New York State Legislature to make GENDA a priority this year.
Senator Squadron, Assembly Member Gottfried, and four of Housing Works’ clients are expected to speak at this afternoon’s press conference. Additionally, New York State Senators Eric Adams; Holyman; Bill Perkins; Ruth Hassell-Thompson; Diane Savino; Andrea Stewart-Cousins; and Kevin Parker have also confirmed attendance.
The New York State Assembly is expected to pass GENDA this month. If GENDA becomes law, NY would join 16 states, the District of Columbia, and over 160 cities and counties with gender expression/identity protections.
We will be live tweeting the conference—follow this afternoon’s events on Twitter at @housingworks and with the hashtag #GENDA.blog comments powered by Disqus
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