The Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, or GENDA, has once again failed to advance in the New York Senate. GENDA was voted down in the New York Senate Judiciary Committee by only one vote. The lone dissenting Democratic vote that killed the bill? As expected, it was the rabid and intolerant Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr..
From the Empire State Pride Agenda:
"Today the Senate Judiciary Committee took up the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) and failed to move it forward by a vote of 11-12. All the Republican Senators on the Committee voted against it, as did Senator Ruben Diaz as the lone Democrat vote in dissent. Some senators raised concerns about the use of bathrooms and other gender-segregated facilities, and a number of senators who voted against the bill expressed a willingness to support it if this issue could be sufficiently addressed. Committee Chair John Sampson promised to take these concerns back to the prime sponsor of the bill, Senator Tom Duane, for discussion."
Diaz Sr is the rabidly anti-LGBT Bronx Pentecostal minister who is the leading opponent of LGBT rights in the Empire State. In May 2009, Diaz Sr. lead 10,000 people to condemn gays and marriage equality on the streets of Manhattan.
Three months ago, the New York Assembly passed GENDA by a 91-40 vote. The vote came with bipartisan support and this was the third time GENDA passed the Assembly.
Only 13 states and the District of Columbia have laws to protect transgender people from employment, public accommodation and housing discrimination. Seven more states and the District of Columbia protect gays and lesbians. In December, Gov. David Paterson issued an executive order covering state employees that bans discrimination based on gender identity and expression.