In 2002, New York State passed the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Law. There was a bitter fight at the time regarding transgender inclusion. Ultimately, the decision was made to pass the law without transgender inclusion, with the promise that a separate law would be passed regarding gender identity protection.
Eight years later, transgender New Yorkers are still waiting. The bill has been passed by the New York State Assembly, but the New York State Senate has consistently refused to do so. This is the same New York Senate that defeated marriage equality after several Senators, who promised to vote in favor, caved at actual crunch time.
There is, however, reason for optimism this time around. (How many times have I heard those words?)
GENDA, the Gender Non-Discrimination Act, sponsored by Senator Tom Duane, is going to a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee at 10 am on Tuesday morning.
There are 23 members on the committee, so 12 yes votes would be needed to send the bill to the floor for a full Senate vote. Advocates for the bill say there are 11 yes votes, and 6 unconfirmed.
In the full New York Senate, with 62 members, there are 32 yes votes and 15 unconfirmed.
If the Judiciary vote proceeds tomorrow and is positive, and the bill is scheduled for a Senate floor vote, New York State could see a gender identity protection bill pass into law this year.
Telephone numbers of the unconfirmed Senators after the jump. You know what to do. And please share on Facebook, Twitter and email.