New York State Passes Landmark Trans Anti-Discrimination Bill

It took 16 years to pass.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

| January 15 2019,

9:22 pm

In a massive win for the people of New York, lawmakers in that state passed a historic bill that forbids discriminating against transgender residents.

According to The Daily Beast, the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) officially makes it illegal to bar trans people from jobs, public places (such as bathrooms and stores) and housing based on their identity alone. The legislation was voted on by an overwhelming 100-40 majority in the State Assembly and 42-19 by the New York Senate on Tuesday.

Governor Andrew Cuomo expressed his satisfaction with the vote and posted a congratulatory tweet from his Twitter account:

"Today we're a more fair, just state and every New Yorker should be proud," Cuomo wrote in his tweet.

The longtime governor also issued an official statement through his office. 

"This is an issue of basic fairness, and today marks a historic day for those in the LGBTQ community who fought tirelessly for the passage of this bill," a portion of his statement read. "I applaud the Legislature for acting quickly to pass this critical component of our Justice Agenda."

Cuomo put in place similar protections for his state's 78,600 trans residents in 2015. The new law, however, is a more permanent protection, given a new governor could easily roll back the executive order. Repealing GENDA would be no easy task.

Passing it wasn't easy, either. CBS News writes Democratic lawmakers have been fighting for GENDA for the last 16 years. The bill passed New York's Democratic-controlled Assembly several times; it failed to make it out of committee in the Republican-controlled Senate every time it was brought forward.

However, the November 2018 midterm elections swept Democrats into power in the Senate. With that chamber now blue, the bill passed easily.

Decision-makers who had a hand in passing the significant measure celebrated the bill's success on Twitter:

In addition to protecting members of the LGBTQ community from discrimination, CBS News reports lawmakers voted to prohibit the controversial practice of youth conversion therapy in the state.

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