Tuesday, April 24, 2007

GENDA passes Gov. Ops. Committee

The Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) passed the NYS Assembly's Government Operations Committee today. The bill, if eventually signed into law, would make it illegal to fire someone from their job or deny housing or credit (or other public accommodation) to someone because of how they express their gender.

Today's vote is a major step forward for GENDA, as the bill has not been brought to a committee vote since 2003. The bill had gained initial momentum as an amendment to the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act (SONDA), which passed in 2002. GENDA, however, stalled in committee in 2003 and hadn't moved again until today.

The bill now must pass the Codes Committee in order to then go to Speaker Silver and the Rules Committee, who can put it to a floor vote. Lot's of work still to be done, but today's vote is very encouraging.

Here's how today's vote went down:

Chair: RoAnn Destito (D-Oneida) - YES

Michael Benedetto (D-Bronx) - YES
Patricia Eddington (D-Suffolk) - YES
Sandy Galef (D-Westchester) - YES
Rory Lancman (D-Queens) - YES
George Latimer (D-Westchester) - YES
Margaret Markey (D-Queens) - YES
Marcus Molinaro (R-Dutchess/Columbia) - NO
Crystal Peoples (D-Buffalo) - YES
Bob Reilly (D-Albany/Saratoga) - YES
Joseph Saladino (R-Nassau) - NO

1 comment:

Dr. Jillian Todd Weiss said...

Congratulations to all those working so hard on this. I'm curious why the lack of response in the wider gay community.

And I remember when they passed SONDA in 2002, and the advocates told transgender advocate to lobby for it despite the fact that it left transgender people out, that they would push for another bill to protect gender identity -- and it's 5 years later, and there's a few advocates talking about this but the wide public support needed seems absent. Perhaps I'm just not in the loop?