New York transgenders to get protection against discrimination
New York transgenders have a reason to rejoice with NY State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo declaring the adoption of new regulations that bans discrimination and harassment against transgender people.
The regulation, adopted by the New York State Division of Human Rights, targets discrimination against gender identity and is effective immediately.
Cuomo stands with New York transgenders
The New York regulation affirms that transgender individuals are protected under the state’s Human Rights Law.
As their press release declared: “All public and private employers, housing providers, businesses, creditors and others should know that discrimination against transgender persons is unlawful and will not be tolerated anywhere in the state of New York.”
“Today we are sending the message loud and clear that New York will not stand for discrimination against transgender people,” Cuomo said.
“It is intolerable to allow harassment or discrimination against anyone, and the transgender community has been subjected to a second-class status for far too long. This is an issue of basic justice and I am proud that New York is continuing to lead the way forward,” he added.
The New York State’s Human Rights Law was first enacted in 1945 and bans discriminatory practices on grounds like “sexual orientation” and “sex” among others, including “disability.”
This applies specifically to discrimination in opportunities for employment, education, public accommodation, and “the ownership, use and occupancy of housing accommodations and commercial space.”
Likewise, this also covers to unwelcome sexual advances and sexual harassment towards domestic workers.
Safeguards for New York transgenders
Cuomo– the first executive in the US to issue such regulations– had first signed the order expanding the definition of “sex” to include transgender people last October.
The regulation draws on the GENDA bill, which is stalled at the state senate, and establishes “gender identity” and “the status of being transgender” as unlawful grounds for discrimination.
Likewise, it incorporate “gender identity” and “the status of being transgender” into the term “sex”, wherever it appears in the Human Rights Law. It particularly includes any section within the text which addresses harassment or discrimination by virtue of “sex” or “sex” as a “protected category.”
“Prior to these regulations being established, transgender and gender non-conforming New Yorkers could not go to the division of human rights and be assured that their cases would be considered as falling under the prohibitions against discrimination in New York State human rights law,” said Barrie Gewanter, director of the Syracuse/Onondaga County Human Rights Commission.
The Empire State Pride Agenda noted that even with local protection, 75 percent of transgenders suffer workplace harassment in New York. Likewise, 53 percent of New York transgenders have been either harassed or discriminated against.