Why YOU Need to Show Up for LGBTQI Advocacy Day on May 8

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Trump & Pence are attacking transgender and lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer and intersex New Yorkers.
We need to make New York State a “sanctuary” for ourselves and our fellow New Yorkers.

But right now, NYS is NOT securely protecting these folks.

  • 19 states (plus DC and PR), including Utah (yes, Utah) have a transgender nondiscrimination law, but not NY.
  • 9 states (plus DC), including Nevada (yes, Nevada) have banned conversion “therapy,” but not NY.

And it will take large-scale lobbying and electoral work to win.

Advocates and legislators have noted:

thealt.com: State legislature paralyzed on LGBT issues as Trump moves against protections

“… New York state is in no position to act to protect LGBT rights because Republicans control the state Senate, in part, thanks to a group of renegade Democrats–and Sen. Simcha Felder, a Democrat who conferences with Republicans. In fact, advocates say the State legislature has done little to nothing to advance LGBT rights since passing marriage equality in 2011–thanks to the Republican-controlled Senate.”

A detailed report by NYS Senator Hoylman, “Stranded at the Altar” documents that not one stand-alone LGBT bill has been passed by the Senate since marriage equality in 2011.  Meanwhile, other states have been moving forward.

The question is:  What are we going to do about this?

For starters, everyone who believes in equality & justice for transgender and lesbian, bisexual, gay, queer, intersex and questioning New Yorkers needs to show up and say so on May 8 LGBTQI Advocacy Day in Albany!

If you are ready: Register Here

If you want to learn more about why we all need to be there on May 8, keep reading…

Employment

Only 2 months after the Inauguration…

Trump’s Dept. of Justice filed a brief arguing that the 1964 Civil Rights Law does NOT cover sexual orientation, or, implicitly gender identity—despite many court rulings that “sex” discrimination includes sexual orientation and gender identity/transgender discrimination.  Four months later, a Trump tweet announced his intention to ban and discharge all transgender personnel from their jobs in the military.

In NYS, transgender employment discrimination is real: In the past year, 26% of those who held or applied for a job during that year reported being fired, being denied a promotion, or not being hired for a job they applied for because of their gender identity or expression.

There is no NYS law that outlaws transgender discrimination in employment. New Yorkers need to get that law, GENDA, passed right now!  There are currently regulations that interpret “sex” to include gender identity, but a new Governor could review and repeal those regulations.

Public Accommodations

Only 2 months after the Inauguration…

Trump’s Department of Justice reversed course and abandoned its Court challenge to North Carolina’s HB2 which overturned local transgender non-discrimination laws and specifically forced transgender people to use the school and government bathrooms that matched their birth certificate.

In NYS, transgender discrimination in public accommodations is real:  58% of respondents avoided using a public restroom in the past year because they were afraid of confrontations or other problems they might experience.

There is no NYS law that outlaws transgender discrimination in public accommodations. New Yorkers need to that law, GENDA, passed ASAP!

Regulations that are subject to repeal by the next Governor do not make NY a sanctuary for transgender people.

Housing

Only 2 months after the Inauguration…

Trump’s Dept. of Housing & Urban Development deleted from their website a list of “Best Practices” for serving LGBT people in emergency shelters and rescinded an LGBT Rights List to be posted in shelters.

In NYS, transgender housing discrimination and homelessness is real:  21% of respondents experienced some form of housing discrimination in the past year, such as being evicted from their home or denied a home or apartment because of being transgender.

There is no NYS law that outlaws transgender housing discrimination.  GENDA would protect transgender New Yorkers from discrimination in housing and mortgages.  We need protection that is more secure than regulations.

Education

Only 1 month after the Inauguration…

Trump’s Department of Education (DOE) rescinded the Obama administration’s landmark guidance on protecting transgender students from discrimination in schools, under Title IX.   One year later, the DOE announced it will summarily dismiss any complaints from transgender students about exclusion from school facilities and other claims based on gender identity.

In NYS, mistreatment of trans students is real:  74% of those who were out or perceived as transgender at some point between Kindergarten and Grade 12 experienced some form of mistreatment, such as being verbally harassed…or physically or sexually assaulted because people thought they were transgender.  14% faced such severe mistreatment as a transgender person that they left a K–12 school.

NYS has a “Dignity for All Students law,” but a lot more needs to be done to make that law real in the schools.

Conversion “Therapy”

After 1 year in office, the Trump/Pence administration has done nothing to protect LGBT youth from Conversion “Therapy.”  

As governor of Indiana, Mike Pence opposed funding to treat HIV unless it was offset by cuts to programs that he claimed “…celebrate and encourage the types of behaviors that facilitate the spreading of the HIV virus.” Pence instead preferred funding harmful conversion therapy programs that would seek to change “sexual behavior.”

Conversion “Therapy” touches tens of thousands of LGBT lives:  20,000 LGBT youth (13-17 years) will receive conversion therapy from a licensed professional in the 41 states (including NY) that do not currently ban the practice.

350,000 LGBT adults in the U.S. received this treatment as adolescents.

NYS has no law that outlaws Conversion “Therapy.”  There is a new regulation that prohibits Medicaid and commercial insurance from paying for it, but Assemblymember Deborah Glick called that gubernatorial action “’hollow, in that most insurers don’t cover the therapy to begin with.’”  There is a bill to prohibit conversion “therapy” by licensed mental health professionals on LGBT minors. It has passed the Assembly but is stalled in the Senate.

Healthcare

Only 2 months after the inauguration…

Trump’s Dept. of Justice refused to defend in Court its right to enforce the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), provisions that hospitals, clinics and insurance companies may not discriminate against consumers on the basis of sex, sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.

In NYS, transgender discrimination in healthcare is real:  In the past year, 27% of respondents did not see a doctor when they needed to because of fear of being mistreated as a transgender person, and 28% did not see a doctor when needed because they could not afford it.

NYS has no laws that protect transgender patients from discrimination by hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare-related public accommodations.  GENDA would be part of a package of laws that could protect transgender patients.

The question is:  What are we going to do about this?

For starters, everyone who believes in equality & justice for transgender and lesbian, bisexual, gay, queer, intersex and questioning New Yorkers needs to show up and say so on May 8 LGBTQI Advocacy Day in Albany!

If you are ready:  Register Here.

 

SOURCES:
The list of actions and inactions by the Trump/Pence administration are from the National Center for Transgender Equality “Discrimination Administration” summary:  https://transequality.org/the-discrimination-administration

The facts (above) on discrimination experienced by transgender New Yorkers are excerpts from the NY State Report, drawn from the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality: You can read the full report here

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