Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Our reaction to the incoming administration

Did you see Governor Andrew Cuomo's first State of the State address today? We issued the following statement to media about what we see as promising signs coming from this incoming administration. We'd love to hear what you think, too, if you would like to leave a comment.


Early Actions Show Governor Cuomo's Commitment to
Civil Rights and LGBT Equality

Pride Agenda Executive Director Ross Levi Reacts to State of the State

Albany, NY, January 5, 2011 -- Empire State Pride Agenda Executive Director Ross D. Levi commended Governor Andrew Cuomo for early actions on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues, including the mention of marriage equality in today's State of the State address.

"The Pride Agenda is very pleased that Governor Cuomo in his State of the State address specifically included LGBT New Yorkers in his vision of a great Empire State," Levi said. "He has strongly and repeatedly shown his support for LGBT fairness and equality, and the affirmation today of his commitment to see marriage for loving same-sex couples become law in New York State is another indication of that support. We look forward to working with Governor Cuomo and Lt. Governor Robert Duffy -- and elected officials throughout the state -- to move forward on marriage equality, fighting transgender discrimination and the many other LGBT issues that are supported by a majority of New Yorkers."

Levi noted two other pro-LGBT actions taken by Cuomo in the first days of his administration:

  • Governor Cuomo continued the Executive Order -- first signed by former Governor Paterson in 2009 -- prohibiting discrimination in state employment on the basis of gender identity and expression.
  • Cuomo appointed Alphonso David to the newly-created position of Deputy Secretary for Civil Rights. David was previously New York State's Special Deputy Attorney General for Civil Rights. He also served as Deputy Commissioner at the New York State Division of Human Rights and as a staff attorney at Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund.

"In the first few days of his administration, Governor Cuomo has taken concrete action to prohibit transgender discrimination, created a historic position in his administration to oversee civil rights, appointed a gay, African- American man to fill that position and included marriage equality in his State of the State presentation," Levi said. "These important steps show the Governor's commitment to creating a fair Empire State for all New Yorkers, and at the same time underscore an important political reality: An ever-increasing number of New Yorkers and Americans want fairness and equality for their LGBT family members, friends and neighbors, and expect their elected officials to work to achieve those goals."

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