New York Governor Extends Protections to Transgender New Yorkers

Gov. Paterson signs executive order to broaden anti-discrimination provisions for state employees

WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, today praised the New York Governor David A. Paterson for issuing an executive order extending anti-discrimination policies to gender identity for state employees.

“Governor Paterson has taken significant action to advance equality for all New York state employees,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “The ability to provide for our families is non-negotiable. We applaud Governor Paterson for his commitment to the LGBT community and look forward to working with fair-minded New York legislators to pass the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act which will protect private employees.”

An executive order prohibiting discrimination in state employment is the furthest extent to which any governor is able to exercise his or her executive power. Extending protections to private employees must be accomplished by the state legislature. New York joins eight other states in which an executive order, administrative order, or personnel regulation prohibits discrimination against public employees based on sexual orientation and gender identity: Delaware, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

In addition, twelve states and the District of Columbia prohibit full employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity: California, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. Nine more states, including New York, prohibit employment discrimination based only on sexual orientation. For an electronic map showing where employment non-discrimination stands in the states, please visit: www.HRC.org/State_Laws.

This year, a fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act was introduced into both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate. Federal legislation would provide employment protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in all 50 states.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.