The New York State Assembly passed two bills on Tuesday protecting transgender and gender non-conforming individuals from discrimination and banning “conversion therapy.”
The first bill, Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), protects individuals from discrimination based on gender identity or expression. The bill adds gender identity and expression to the list of classes protected against discrimination in issues involving housing, employment, education and extensions of credit.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo released a statement on the passage of the bill:
We were the first state in the nation to issue regulations prohibiting harassment and discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression, and continue to fight this federal administration’s despicable attacks on trans people. This is an issue of basic fairness, and today marks an historic day for those in the LGBTQ community who fought tirelessly for the passage of this bill.
The second bill identifies any procedures or treatment carried out by mental health professionals that makes any effort to change the sexual orientation of individuals under 18 years old (“conversion therapy”) as professional misconduct. Cuomo released a statement on this bill as well:
With today’s passage of this important bill, New York is sending a clear message that no one should be tortured for being who they are and we will stand for nothing short of absolute acceptance and full equality.
State Senator Brad Hoylman also commented:
So-called “conversion therapy” is among the worst frauds in history. The State of New York has a responsibility to stop licensed mental health professionals from causing irreparable damage to LGBT youth and their families.
The bills now go to Cuomo, who is expected to sign then into law