New York Passes Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) and Legislation Banning “Conversion Therapy”

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January 15, 2019

The New York legislature today passed two pro-LGBTQ bills, the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) and a law banning so-called “conversion therapy.”

“Passing GENDA is a long overdue action to protect one of the most vulnerable communities in our state. Transgender New Yorkers still face disproportionate rates of violence, discrimination, and harassment and this law will be an important step in combating that injustice,” said Ethan Rice, Senior Attorney, Fair Courts Project, who was the vice-chair of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Advisory Board on Gender Marker Change Requirements, which secured a change in the City’s birth certificate regulations that offers a third gender option. “GENDA enshrines in New York State’s Human Rights Law explicit protections against discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression. While New York state and federal courts across the country have ruled that l sex discrimination protections extend to discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression, GENDA sends a clear and unequivocal message that New York will not tolerate discrimination against transgender and gender nonconforming people. This long awaited law will ensure transgender and gender nonconforming people have legal recourse when confronted with discrimination in public accommodations, housing, and employment.”

“Lambda Legal applauds the critical step the State of New York took in the campaign to stop so-called “conversion therapy” across the country,” said Currey Cook, Counsel and Youth in Out-of-Home Care Project Director. “New York joins 14 other states, the District of Columbia, and numerous municipalities that have passed similar laws or ordinances banning this harmful and widely discredited practice used on children.  No child should be subjected to these dangerous efforts to try to change who they are, especially when those methods cause lifelong trauma and have been condemned by every mainstream psychological, social science and child welfare organization.”