Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and the Democratic Caucus pass GENDA and ban Conversion Therapy

BROOKLYN, NY.  After years of inaction, a newly Democratic-controlled State Senate today passed key legislation long-sought by the LGBTQ community: the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) and a ban on the fraudulent practice of so-called Conversion Therapy.  

Passage of GENDA prohibits, among other things, discrimination in employment and public accommodations against transgender, non-binary, and gender nonconforming members of the LGBTQ community. Banning conversion therapy ensures that LGBTQ and questioning youths will no longer be subjected to this barbaric and fraudulent practice, which has disproportionately affected Brooklyn youths, with no proven outcome other than depression, anxiety and suicide.

“LID and LGBTQ people across Brooklyn, New York City and the State, showed-up in force to elect Democratic senators because we needed these critical protections to finally become law” said LID President Scott Klein.“I’m thrilled to see the entire Democratic Senate caucus back GENDA; they have heard our voices and responded, remarkably, within one week of taking office.”

“It’s about time that New York State recognized the vital rights of transgender, non-binary, and gender nonconforming communities to be free from discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression” said Alejandra Caraballo, an incoming 2019 LID Board member. “As important as GENDA is, we know that this is only a first step toward addressing long-overlooked needs of marginalized members of the LGBTQ community.”  

“As a born and raised New Yorker, and survivor of so-called conversion therapy, I’m proud to stand with State Senator Brad Hoylman” said Matthew Shurka, co-founder of Born Perfect.  “The State legislature has shown its commitment to protecting all youth in the state, from Brooklyn to Buffalo.” 

LID members, in coalition with many Brooklyn Democratic political clubs, campaigned vigorously this past summer and fall to elect State Senators who vowed to fight for and protect the most vulnerable in our community. In Brooklyn, LID campaigned for Zellnor Myrie (Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Prospect Heights, Park Slope, Sunset Park) and Andrew Gounardes (Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Gravesend, Gerritsen Beach, Manhattan Beach, and Marine Park). We heartily thank them for their steadfast support of our community.  

LID is also especially grateful to the many advocacy organizations out there that have long advocated for these critical reforms, including Equality New York, the New York Transgender Advocacy Group (NYTAG), the LGBT Center, and Born Perfect, among others.  

Contact: Jared Arader