Press

New York City Transgender Anti-Discrimination Law Takes Effect Today; NGLTF Praises Mayor Bloomberg for Leadership

Date: 
April 30, 2002

At 3:00 pm today, Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed Intro. 24, an amendment to New York City's Human Rights Law, which takes immediate effect with his signature. The measure adds explicit coverage for transgender people under the city law to prohibit discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations.

"Today Mayor Bloomberg exemplified tremendous leadership in supporting and signing this law into effect," said Lorri L. Jean, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF). "By including all people in his vision for an inclusive society, Mayor Bloomberg has shown that civil rights for transgender people are an integral part of the future for this country. New York City is now more able to live up to its reputation as place where freedom and liberty are dear and individuals are judged on merit rather than personal characteristics."

"Both the fact that the bill passed by such an overwhelming margin and that the mayor pushed for its passage shows that transgender-inclusive thinking is the wave of the future. It also attests to the tremendous effect that local activists can have when they organize and take concerted action," Jean continued.

Intro. 24 passed overwhelmingly in the city council on April 24, by a vote of 45 to 5 (with one abstention). New York activists from the New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy, the New York TransGender Coalition, the Empire State Pride Agenda, the Transgender Law and Policy Institute, and the Street Transgender Action Revolutionaries, among others, worked tirelessly for passage of this bill.

The passage of this measure in New York City, with a population of just over eight million people, dramatically increases at the national level the number and percentage of persons covered by explicitly transgender-inclusive anti-discrimination laws, from 5.4 percent to 8.3 percent of the population, to a total of 23 million (representing overall a 53% increase in the number of people protected). In the past several weeks, three other jurisdictions have passed anti-discrimination laws that include transgender people: Allentown, PA; Erie County, PA; and Tacoma, WA. Two states, Minnesota and Rhode Island, have explicit coverage in their statewide anti-discrimination laws. With the addition of New York City, there are now a total of 42 jurisdictions in the US that explicitly include transgender people in their anti-discrimination laws, including 33 cities, seven counties, and two states.

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.