There is a welcome update to the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA), the comprehensive anti-bullying legislation that finally passed the New York State Senate in June after a nine-year delay. Gov. David A. Paterson will sign the long-awaited legislation next week, reports The Advocate.
DASA passed the senate in June after being passed by the assembly every year since 2002. Paterson will sign the bill Wednesday in a ceremony at the LGBT Community Center in Manhattan. ... The [law] will protect students on the basis of gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, race, color, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, weight, and disability.
The law would make New York one of more than 40 states with antibullying laws, 14 of which plus the District of Columbia provide inclusive protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. The signing will occur as antigay Christian groups like Focus on the Family have seized on the back-to-school season to decry antibullying measures as a way to “promote homosexuality.”
DASA will become New York's first statewide law to include protections for gender identity and expression. The Senate overwhelmingly approved the bill by a vote of 58-3 and its supporters included one unlikely ally: The rabidly anti-gay Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr.
Only two weeks before the Senate approved DASA, Diaz Sr. joined the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee and cast the decisive vote to kill the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, or GENDA. The New York Assembly passed GENDA by a 91-40 vote in March. The vote came with bipartisan support and this was the third time GENDA assed the Assembly.