"Just days after enshrining in New York law the 'right' for mothers to have their unborn children murdered, and in some cases, even up until birth, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has now signed two new bills into law: The Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) adds 'gender identity and expression' to existing prohibitions against discrimination in housing and employment, and likewise makes violent crimes or threats against a person on the basis of their 'gender identity' a hate crime. A separate bill prohibits mental health professionals from working to turn youth from homosexuality and transgenderism, but does not apply when children are counseled in 'acceptance [and] support' of such lifestyles.
Saying 'God bless you' to various individuals who have been behind the cause, who were cheered and applauded by those in attendance at the signing on Friday, Cuomo told those gathered at the LGBT Community Center in Manhattan that the legislation he has signed in recent days puts forward a 'different set of social values than what we see in Washington.'
'They say in Washington, ‘We’re going to appoint Supreme Court justices who can roll back Roe v. Wade, because we want to take us back 47 years ago …’ We say, ‘No. No. You want to take us back, we’re going forward. We’re going to pass a woman’s right to choose and put it into the law,'... he declared. 'And I want a constitutional amendment so that no legislature or governor can change it.'
'The Supreme Court says, ‘You can discriminate against transgenders in the military.’ That’s what they said last week. We say today, ‘No, you can’t. You cannot discriminate against people by gender identity, period,'... Cuomo stated, again being met with enthusiastic applause.
He noted that New York was the first .big state. to pass a law legalizing same-sex .marriage,. and that he had issued executive orders in recent years to ban discrimination on the basis of gender identity, as well as to prohibit insurance coverage for youth conversion therapy, which he called a .farce..
.And I want everyone in this room to be proud of what we have done [among] our leadership on this issue together. There is no state that has been more aggressive in advocating and achieving rights and acceptance for the LGBTQ community than the state of New York,. said Cuomo, standing in front of a series of flags that included a homosexual and transgender flag. 'This is New York at its best.'...
The Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), Senate Bill 1047, adds 'gender identity and expression' to existing legal protections in New York on the basis of religion, race, sex, age, sexual orientation, and other factors. The Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act (SONDA) was signed into law in 2002, and advocates have been pressing for gender identity to be added to the special protected classes.
The law will now therefore also prohibit prohibit employers, landlords and educational institutions from discriminating against individuals on the basis of their gender identification, in addition to the other classes. Unfair treatment will be considered an 'unlawful discriminatory practice.'
Employers may not 'refuse to hire or employ or to bar or to discharge from employment such individual or to discriminate against such individual in compensation or in terms, conditions or privileges of employment' based on their gender identity or expression.
The law may present a concern for Christians due to issues that have occurred in other states. As previously reported, while pertaining to action by the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), a funeral home in Michigan, run by a Christian man, was sued in 2016 for firing his funeral director and embalmer, who advised that he desired to begin wearing a woman’s suit for work.
'R.G. employees understand that the dress code requires funeral directors to wear company-provided suits,' attorneys for owner Thomas Rost outlined in a legal brief. 'Rost sincerely believes that he would be violating God’s commands if he were to pay for or otherwise permit one of RG’s funeral directors to wear the uniform for members of the opposite sex while at work.'
GENDA additionally now adds gender identity to the state’s existing hate crime statutes, which relate to criminal acts committed 'in whole or in substantial part because of a belief or perception regarding the … gender identity or expression … of a person, regardless of whether the belief or perception is correct.'
Examples of crimes applicable under the law include striking, shoving or kicking a person, or transmitting via phone, email or other communication 'a threat to cause physical harm to, or unlawful harm to the property of' a person based on their gender identity or expression.
'[C]riminal acts involving violence, intimidation and destruction of property based upon bias and prejudice have become more prevalent in New York state in recent years,' the legislation states. 'In a democratic society, citizens cannot be required to approve of the beliefs and practices of others, but must never commit criminal acts on account of them.'
'Current law does not adequately recognize the harm to public order and individual safety that hate crimes cause,' it asserts. 'Therefore, our laws must be strengthened to provide clear recognition of the gravity of hate crimes and the compelling importance of preventing their recurrence.'
The hate crime aspect would now heighten punishment for anyone who commits a crime against transgenders, being that they are added to the special protected classes. However, while opposing violence of any kind, some believe that there should not be 'special classes' of people who receive protection surrounding the prosecution of their assailants, but that all should be equal in that regard.
The hate crimes prosecution would not apply if someone were to harm or threaten, for instance, a homeless person, or simply another individual that they dislike...
'Being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is not a disease, disorder, illness, deficiency, or shortcoming,' also reads Senate Bill 1046, which was separate legislation signed by the governor. 'New York has a compelling interest in protecting the physical and psychological well-being of minors, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth, and in protecting its minors against exposure to serious harms caused by sexual orientation change efforts.'
It defines sexual orientation change efforts, also known as conversion therapy, as 'any practice by a mental health professional that seeks to change and individual’s sexual orientation, including but not limited to, efforts to change behaviors, gender identity, or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.'
Mental health professionals who assist youth who may be struggling with temptations toward the same sex or who feel that they identify as the opposite sex will be considered to have engaged in 'professional misconduct,' and may face penalties from their licensing entity that may include censure and reprimand, suspension of their license, the requirement to receive training and education, fines or a complete loss of their license.
The legislation notes that the prohibition does not apply to 'counseling for a person seeking to transition from one gender to another, or psychotherapies that provide acceptance, support and understanding of patients for the facilitation of patients’ coping, social support, and identity exploration and development, including sexual orientation inventions … [that] do not seek to change sexual orientation.'...
Both bills were presented by Sen. Brad Hoylman, D-Manhattan—who touts himself as 'the only openly-LGBT member of the New York State Senate'—with Deborah Glick, also of Manhattan—who identifies herself as 'the first openly lesbian or gay member of the New York State legislature'—sponsoring S. 1046 in the Assembly.
'You can not change who a person is,' Glick told the news outlet Governing.
S. 1046 overwhelmingly passed both houses this month, being approved by the Assembly 134 to 3, followed by the Senate 57 to 4. GENDA passed with a bit more objection: 100-40 in the Assembly and 42-19 in the Senate. GENDA has reportedly been cleared by the Assembly numerous times over the past 16 years, but had never made it to passage, being blocked by the Republican majority. Democrats are now the majority in the Senate.
'As the most progressive state in the nation and as the home of the modern LGBTQ rights movement, New York has always been on the front lines fighting for full protections for every individual,' Cuomo said in a statement released on his website. 'By signing into law GENDA and a ban on the fraudulent practice of conversion therapy, we are taking another giant step forward in advancing equal justice for every New Yorker – regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation.'
'We are once again sending a clear and proud message that there is no place for hate in our state, and anyone who engages in bigotry and discrimination will be held accountable,' he remarked."
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