The clock is ticking in Albany, and the New York State Senate still hasn’t gotten around to a vote on the Gender Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), which would extend antidiscrimination protections to transgendered people. Now a coalition of powerful labor unions are adding their voices to up pressure for the passage of the measure.SEIU 1199 United Healthcare Workers East, AFL-CIO and the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), are calling on the Senate to pass the measure, which has passed the state Assembly six years in a row only to have the Senate not vote on it. “It’s time that SEIU 1199 United Healthcare Workers East, AFL-CIO and the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), are calling on the Senate to pass the measure, which has passed the state Assembly six years in a row only to have the Senate not vote on it. “It’s time that the Senate passed this legislation, to ensure that no hard-working New Yorker lacks protection and risks unjust termination simply because of who they are,” said Kevin Finnegan, Legislative and Political Director of SEIU 1199 United Healthcare Workers East.
The unions are joining a chorus that keeps growing. The Buffalo News, hardly an outpost of runaway liberalism, just called for passage of GENDA. Both of New York’s U.S. Senators, Chuck Schumer and Kristen Gillibrand, have written a letter in support of the measure, and state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Gov. Andrew Cuomo says supports the bill, but advocates feel that he could be pushing more forcefully for its passage.
Of course, even by the low standards of state legislatures, New York stands out for its byzantine ways. Right now, the state legislature is vying for title of most corrupt in the nation. You’d think the legislators might try to improve their image a little by actually making people’s lives better. We’ll see.
Ahead of the vote, Empire State Pride Agenda has released a new video in its awareness campaign. Watch Rowan, a transgender male from Albany, NY, and his mother Fiona offer compelling reasons to end discrimination.