New York state legislature to consider transgender rights bill

From LGBTQ Nation:

Saturday, February 23, 2013

ALBANY, N.Y. — A bill making its way in the New York state legislature would protect gender identity or expression from discrimination and subject violators to a potential hate crime prosecution.

Under the measure, gender identity would be added to New York state law that already prohibits discrimination based on race, religion, age, sexual orientation and more in issues of housing, credit, employment and others.

The measure has the critical support of the Independent Democratic Conference, five breakaway members who share majority control of the Senate with Republicans.

Republicans haven’t yet discussed the measure, but aren’t dismissing it in this new era in which more Democratic-leaning bills get to the Senate floor even with GOP opposition.

“New Yorkers overwhelmingly support this bill,” said Vincent Paolo Villano of the National Center for Transgender Equality in Washington. Passage “could be another example of how the state is leading the country in achieving full LGBT equality.”

“If we get a vote, the chances are very good,” said Sen. Daniel Squadron, a Democrat representing parts of Brooklyn and Manhattan who is sponsoring the Senate bill.

“People are shocked you can lose your job, or your home or be denied a place in a restaurant because of sexual identity. No one thinks that’s what New York should look like,” said Squadron.

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