Right now, transgender New Yorkers can be denied jobs, housing, and even medical care with no legal recourse. This is an injustice that cries out to be rectified.
The Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) would grant equal rights to transgender New Yorkers. Our Governor has said that he supports GENDA but has put no muscle behind passing it. Words without action are meaningless. Governor Cuomo will only move this issue forward if he knows that people care.
I care. Do you?
It’s time for all New Yorkers who believe in equal rights to take action, be visible, and put pressure on our elected state government. No one is free until all are free. Black lives matter. Women’s lives matter. Police lives matter. Transgender lives matter. It’s time for all of us to live under the same set of laws.
While our state government dithers, a number of New York cities and counties have passed local transgender nondiscrimination laws. Why were those laws passed?
Visibility, visibility, visibility.
The sponsors of GENDA have already opined that passage in 2015 will be difficult with the influx of more Republicans in the State Senate.
Let’s refuse to accept that equality under the law is a partisan issue. Transgender civil rights were passed unanimously – that’s every Democrat and every Republican – by the Albany County legislature.
Governor Cuomo is fulfilling his campaign promises with regard to birth certificate corrections and healthcare. These are huge.
But, will the Governor believe he has done enough?
Will he spend enough political capital to push GENDA to passage as 2016 presidential possibilities begin to form?
Serious, continuous, visible advocacy is required to fight for civil rights for transgender individuals – the same rights all other citizens of New York enjoy.
Those of us who believe in equal rights will be demonstrating peacefully at the Governor’s Sate of the State speech on Wednesday, January 21st, 2015 starting at 12 noon. As our elected officials walk through the Mall to get to their seats in the Egg to hear the Governor’s speech, we will let them know that GENDA must be passed in 2015. We believe this may be the first time a GENDA-specific demonstration organized by a transgender led advocacy group will be held at the Capital. Let’s make it a big one.
Let’s take to the street (or in this case the Mall) and create a media event that will start the discussion that can change hearts and minds. Make a sign, grab a friend or three, and meet us at the Mall on Wednesday, January 21st at 12 noon.
Transportation is being arranged from Long Island and Manhattan. Contact Betsy Malcolm at email@example.com for details.