New York Civil Liberties Union and Lincoln Square Legal Services, Inc.
Currently, no statewide law in New York explicitly prohibits discrimination against people whose appearance or identity does not conform to gender stereotypes. This means that people who are fired from their jobs, denied housing and services, and mistreated in the workplace, in stores and in restaurants merely because of their appearance or gender identity do not have clear legal protection. The Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) would fix this problem by adding gender identity and gender expression to the categories currently included in New York State’s antidiscrimination laws, such as sex, sexual orientation, race, religion and disability. This report explains why the legislature should pass GENDA. It first defines the terms “gender identity” and “gender expression.” It then shows how discrimination affects the everyday lives of transgender and gender non-conforming people, and examines successful efforts in other states and in jurisdictions within New York to combat this discrimination through civil rights laws.