FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Anita Aboulafia (212) 267-6646, ext. 225, firstname.lastname@example.org
NYCLA ISSUES REPORT ENDORSING THE N.Y. STATE ASSEMBLY’S
GENDER EXPRESSION NON-DISCRIMINATION ACT
NEW YORK, NY – FEBRUARY 9, 2006 – The New York County Lawyers’ Association (NYCLA) has adopted a report prepared by its Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues (LGBT) Committee recommending the passage of New York State Assembly Bill A07438 of 2005 (The Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act or “GENDA”). The bill would prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or expression, including offenses regarding gender identity or expression under the Hate Crimes Statute. This bill would rectify the omission of gender identity and expression from both the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act (“SONDA”) enacted by the Legislature in 2002 and the Hate Crimes Act of 2000.
In adopting the report, the Association becomes one of the first major bar associations in New York State to support legislation barring discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression. In New York State, New York City, Albany, Buffalo, Ithaca, and Rochester and Tompkins and Suffolk Counties prohibit such discrimination. GENDA would extend these protections to everyone throughout the State. Seven states, including California, Illinois and (within the past week) Washington State, and dozens of localities have enacted laws barring discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression.
According to Ivan J. Dominguez, Chair of the LGBT Issues Committee, “Once again, NYCLA is illuminating the way forward to a better world and a more just society. And it is doing so by maintaining its vigorous adherence to the basic principle that all people are equally entitled to safety, dignity, respect, fairness and justice. I am hopeful that the New York State Legislature will not allow another year to pass without discharging its duty to protect all New Yorkers from invidious discrimination and violence, especially when we are talking about some of the most vulnerable and targeted among us.”
The New York County Lawyers’ Association (www.nycla.org) was founded in 1908 as the first major bar association in the country that admitted members without regard to race, ethnicity, religion or gender. Since its inception, it has pioneered some of the most far-reaching and tangible reforms in American jurisprudence and has continuously played an active role in legal developments and public policy.
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A copy of the report can be downloaded by logging on to www.nycla.org. The report is on the homepage, in the News section.