NY Governor to Protect Transgender State Employees From Discrimination
New York Governor David Paterson issued an executive order today, banning discrimination against state employees on the basis of gender identity and expression. The New York Times reports Paterson was joined by leading gay rights advocates at the LGBT Community Center in the West Village during the signing ceremony.
Michael Silverman is executive director of the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund.
Silverman: “It sends a clear message that New York wants to be a leader in the movement for transgender equal rights, and ensuring that hardworking people who just want to get a job and support themselves and their families can do that, without fearing on-the-job discrimination just because they’re transgender.”
But Silverman said the protections need to extend beyond just state workers. New York’s Assembly has passed – several times – a state-wide transgender-inclusive employment non-discrimination act known as “GENDA”, but the Senate has never voted on it. Silverman said the Senate needs to act to make sure all New Yorkers get same the protections as state workers.
Silverman: “47% of transgender people report that they have been denied a job or promotion or fired, just because of who they are. Not because they can’t do the job, not because they’re not willing to work hard. Just because they are transgender. So we need GENDA in New York State, and we need it now.”
Silverman says New York becomes the seventh state to protect transgender public employees from discrimination, joining Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Indiana, and Kansas.