Transgender Issues Get Their Day in the Sun in Albany

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May 9, 2011

During the Equality and Justice Day rally in Albany, marriage equality was the issue on many people's minds. It's the LGBT debate with the most national traction in headlines and financial support on both sides of the issue. But as the hundreds of advocates rallied on the lawn in front of the state house began chanting and waving placards, the first phrase of that familiar protest singsong was: "What do we want? GENDA! When do we want it? Now!" GENDA is the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, a bill that would protect transgender people in employment, housing, services and public accommodations. (You may not know, but it's currently legal to deny trans people those things in New York State). According to a poll by the Empire State Pride Agenda, a full 78 percent of New Yorkers support the passage of such a bill. And 74 percent of trans people report that they experience harassment or abuse on the job. "Don't let the sentence end on marriage," pleaded Dru Levasseur a transgender rights activist with Lambda Legal. "Ever since the first shoe was thrown at Stonewall, trans people have been at the forefront of fighting discrimination that all LGBT people face."

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