Press-Republican

In My Opinion

July 3, 2013

In My Opinion: Equal rights for transgender

The Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) is New York state’s transgender non-discrimination bill.

GENDA successfully passed the State Assembly for the sixth straight year in April 2013. The Republican leadership of the Senate still refuses (up to and including the last day of their session, which ended recently) to bring the bill up for a vote, especially when there is a majority of support for its passage from both sides of the political aisle.

GENDA seeks to add the category of “gender identity and expression” to New York’s already existing human-rights laws. Currently it is illegal in New York to discriminate on the basis of age, race, creed, national origin, sexual orientation, sex and other categories in the areas of employment, housing, public accommodations, education and fiancé/credit.

This bill seeks to also ban discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression.

Every person in New York has the right to be treated fairly and equally under the law, regardless of “who they are,” by the very laws that govern us in our state. The basic Human Rights Law in New York needs to include prohibitions of discrimination for people who are daily losing their jobs; being refused services, including medical, mental health, meals in restaurants and public accommodations; denied credit from financial institutions and even being evicted from their homes simply because they are transgender.

Empire State Pride Agenda Executive Director Nathan Schaefer noted in his recent statement on this issue: “Virtually every major New York newspaper, including the New York Times, called for the Senate to pass the bill, which this year passed the Assembly for the sixth time with a nearly two-to-one bipartisan majority.

“In addition, 78 percent of New Yorkers polled support ending discrimination against transgender people. A sixth city, Syracuse, passed their GENDA law; a ninth county, Albany County, passed theirs, bringing the percentage of New Yorkers living in a jurisdiction that protects all of their citizens equally to 60.25 percent.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
In My Opinion
  • In My Opinion Follow Vt. lead on prescription drugs

    Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin recently called attention to a national crisis when he dedicated his entire State of the State message to address what he called Vermont's "full-blown heroin crisis," writes John Coppola of New York Association of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers Inc.

    March 12, 2014

  • In My Opinion: Rail companies must take action

    I write to commend emergency response officials in Essex County for taking a proactive approach to the increasing number of freight trains carrying crude oil through our communities on the Canadian Pacific line, as described in the Feb, 23 article, "Essex County developing disaster-response plans as rail traffic grows," writes Rep. Bill Owens.

    March 4, 2014

  • In My Opinion: Communal energy conservation urged

    Recently, several articles appeared in the Press-Republican about the City of Plattsburgh's electric rates and energy policies, writes SUNY Plattsburgh assistant professor Curt Gervich.

    March 3, 2014

  • In My Opinion: Support gave boost to broadcasting

    As many of you know, this is my 40th and final year of broadcasting Plattsburgh State Cardinal Hockey, writes WIRY broadcaster Ducky Drake.

    February 20, 2014

  • In My Opinion: Prison closures will increase danger

    In January, the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision released its annual report on the state of New York's prisons, writes NYSCOPBA President Donn Rowe.

    February 18, 2014

  • In My Opinion: Everyone must commit to end smoking

    Smoking-related illnesses will cause 5.6 million children alive today to die prematurely unless smoking rates drop, the latest Surgeon General's Report says, write no-smoking advocates Glenn Pareira and Kendra Gertsch.

    February 12, 2014

  • In My Opinion: The right approach to youth sports

    Another youth basketball season is upon us, writes Town of Ellenburg Youth Director Chris Brooks. Local counties do a great job of organizing these leagues for our children to be able to participate and learn skills at a young age.

    January 8, 2014

  • In My Opinion: Fair evacuation plan needs review

    A year has come and gone with another great professional job done by our Clinton County Fair management, putting on its best yet entertainment.

    January 7, 2014

  • In My Opinion: New care models for aging population

    Our communities are experiencing a growing percentage of older residents, who are becoming increasingly savvy when it comes to health-care decisions, according to the administrators of local nursing homes.

    December 24, 2013

  • In My Opinion: Respect diversity of gender November is Transgender Awareness Month across the United States -- a time to celebrate the diversity of gender that many Americans, and especially many New Yorkers, share.

    November 25, 2013