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➤ VICTORY,, from p.2 Hoylman, the bill’s sponsor and the chamber’s only out LGBTQ member, acknowledged that the omission of transgender rights from the 2002 gay right law “was no accident,” recalling that senators rejected former Senator Tom Duane’s floor amendment to add gender identity and expression to the bill. Noting that a national survey of transgender people reported that between 20 and 30 percent had faced discrimination in employment, housing, or public accommodations — and 59 percent avoid using public bathrooms out of fear for their safety — Hoylman spoke to the importance of the hate crimes provisions in GENDA, saying, “Transgender people are the number 1 target of violence in these United States.” Still, two of his new Democratic colleagues, Jessica Ramos from Queens and Julia Salazar of Brooklyn, while enthusiastically supporting GENDA, urged the Senate to look at amendments down the road to ensure that those hate

GayCityNews.nyc | January 17 - January 30, 2019

COURTESY OF GABRIEL BL AU

Equality New York’s Gabriel Blau, speaking after passage of GENDA and the conversion therapy ban, flanked by Senator Brad Hoylman, Assemblymember Richard Gottfried, and Manhattan Senator Liz Krueger.

crime provisions “are not weaponized against people of color,” in Ramos’ words. Bronx Democratic Senator Luis

R. Sepúlveda spoke movingly of having lost his gender non-conforming brother to AIDS in the 1990s. Senator Anna M. Kaplan of

Long Island, one of the first-term Democrats who defeated a Republican incumbent in November, argued, “In the past two years, the pace and intensity of attacks on the rights and existence of TGNC people has exploded, leading to a dramatic increase of anti-TGNC discrimination and violence. We should be doing everything we can to stand up and say that we reject hate and bias in New York, because no one should be subject to discrimination just for being their true, authentic selves.” Among opponents, only upstate Republican Fred Akshar spoke, raising the usual bathroom fears and warning the measure could “open the door to child predators.” Democrat James Skoufis, a former assemblymember from Orange County who last fall won a Senate seat previously in Republican hands, angrily belittled “the bizarro world” fantasies of transgender rights opponents who conjure dangers in bathrooms and locker rooms. Senator Andrea Stewart-Cous-

➤ VICTORY, continued on p.21

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Profile for Schneps Media

Gay City News - January 17, 2019  

January 17, 2019

Gay City News - January 17, 2019  

January 17, 2019