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Gender non-discrimination bill moving through Assembly

By Lombardo David
Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act was sent to the floor of the Assembly today.

The bill is designed to prevent discrimination based on gender identity or expression by changing the civil rights law, education law, penal law and criminal procedure law. These changes would add gender identity or expression to the list of offenses subject to hate crime status.

In response to the bill moving out of the Assembly Governmental Operations Committete, Nathan M. Schaefer, executive director of the Empire State Pride Agenda, said they passed the first hurdle.

"We are confident that this will be the year that Senate lawmakers will finally catch up with their Assembly counterparts - and the 78 percent of New York voters - who agree that all New Yorkers, regardless of gender expression or identity, deserve basic civil rights and equal protection under state law," Schaefer said in a statement.

"Furthermore, 16 states and the District of Columbia, as well as countless municipalities and localities - many of which are far more conservative than progressive New York - have such measures on the books," he added. "It's time New York State reclaimed its mantle as the nation's leader in civil rights."

This will be the sixth consecutive session of the Assembly passing the bill. According to StateWatch, all present Republicans voted against the measure in committee.

The Senate version is sponsored by Democrat Daniel Squadron. The bill, number 195, is sitting in the Senate Investigations & Government Operations Committee.

Last year, Squadron's bill made it to the Senate Rules Committee after a notice of committee consideration was requested and it was discharged from the Senate Investigations & Government Operations Committee.

Today was the first report of the Assembly's version of the bill. It needs to age three days before it can receive a vote.

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