Tell Legislators To Support Gender Non-Discrimination

To The Reader’s Forum:

The Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) was passed by the NYS Assembly for the sixth time on Tuesday. Our Assemblyman, Andrew Goodell, voted against this bill. This is what he voted against:

Employment antidiscrimination protections.

According to the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE)/Task Force report Injustice at Every Turn A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, trans and gender non-conforming respondents experienced double the rate of unemployment: Survey respondents experienced unemployment at twice the rate of the general population at the time of the survey, with rates for people of color up to four times the national unemployment rate.

Trans and gender non-conforming respondents experienced widespread mistreatment at work: Ninety percent of those surveyed reported experiencing harassment, mistreatment or discrimination on the job or took actions like hiding who they are to avoid it. Forty-seven percent said they had experienced an adverse job outcome, such as being fired, not hired or denied a promotion because of being transgender or gender non-conforming, and 26 percent had lost a job due to being transgender or gender non-conforming.

Housing antidiscrimination protections.

According to the previously referenced NCTE/Task Force report, 19 percent of surveyed trans and gender non-conforming respondents reported having been refused a home or apartment and 11 percent reported being evicted because of their gender identity/expression. And, 19 percent of trans respondents reported experiencing homelessness at some point in their lives because they were transgender or gender non-conforming.

Public accommodation antidiscrimination protections.

Public accommodation for transgender people isn’t primarily about bathrooms. It’s often instead about being able to buy a cup of coffee and a cheeseburger at your local restaurant; it’s often instead about being able to go to government agency and be treated as a full citizen.

And again, according to the previously referenced NCTE/Task Force report, 53 percent of trans and gender non-conforming respondents reported being verbally harassed or disrespected in a place of public accommodation, including hotels, restaurants, buses, airports and government agencies.

Also, 22 percent were denied equal treatment by a government agency or official; 29 percent reported police harassment or disrespect; and 12 percent had been denied equal treatment or harassed by judges or court officials.

Cathy Young, our state senator, has expressed her opposition to this bill as well. Please contact your state representatives and urge them to support GENDA – A04226 and S00195.

Helen Walther

Jamestown