New York State Bans Conversion Therapy to Protect the LGBT Community

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) as well as legislation protecting LGBTQ youths in the state from the dangerous and debunked practice of so-called “conversion therapy.” GENDA solidifies existing law by explicitly adding gender identity and expression to the New York Human Rights Law.

Last week, the bill passed the New York Assembly and marked the first time it has passed both chambers.

The governor said of the bill when it past the senate: “At a time when the federal government is doing everything it can to roll back the hard won rights of transgender Americans, New York State is once again stepping up for full equality and equal protections under the law. We were the first state in the nation to issue regulations prohibiting harassment and discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression, and continue to fight this federal administration’s despicable attacks on trans people. This is an issue of basic fairness, and today marks an historic day for those in the LGBTQ community who fought tirelessly for the passage of this bill. I applaud the Legislature for acting quickly to pass this critical component of our Justice Agenda.”

According to ThinkProgress, the new Supreme Court can hamper the enactment of the laws: “Yet, while both new laws are undoubtedly victories for LGBTQ rights, it remains to be seen whether either law will have staying power in the face of a Supreme Court that is increasingly hostile to civil rights claims brought by non-conservatives…Thus, while states like New York may be allowed to ban anti-trans discrimination, the Supreme Court is likely to immunize anyone who claims a religious justification for their anti-trans views from having to follow this law.”

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