New York Lawmakers Back Bereavement Leave for Gays

June 30, 2010

by Michael Virtanen | Associated Press

New York businesses would have to extend funeral and bereavement leave to unmarried same-sex couples under a bill passed by the Legislature and awaiting Gov. David Paterson’s signature.

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Antibullying Bill Passes N.Y. State Senate

June 23, 2010

by Julie Bolcer | The Advocate

The Dignity for All Students Act, which would protect LGBT students from bullying and harassment in schools, has passed the New York state senate after years of effort. Gov. David Paterson is expected to sign the bill into law, which would mark the first time gender identity and expression are included in state law.

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New York to Conduct Civil Ceremonies for Gay Couples

June 3, 2010

from CNN

The city clerk’s office in New York will begin conducting domestic partnership ceremonies for gay couples starting Thursday.

For more than a decade, the office has handed out certificates for such couplings.

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Court Expands Rights of Gay Parents

May 4, 2010

by Jeremy W. Peters | New York Times

New York State’s highest court ruled in two cases Tuesday that nonbiological parents involved in same-sex relationships have rights similar to those of biological parents.

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Statewide GENDA Call-In Day—Act Now!

March 9, 2010

Last week, the New York State Assembly passed the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA). The only remaining obstacle to the bill becoming law is the New York State Senate. Join NCLR and Empire State Pride Agenda in making sure that the Senate votes to end discrimination against transgender New Yorkers.

Here’s what you can do to make sure that we pass GENDA this year:

•    Call Sen. Tom Duane and your State Senator’s office today! You can find your State Senator’s Albany phone number here. After letting them know the urgent need for GENDA, call Senator Tom Duane at (518) 455-2451, and ask him to support GENDA and bring it to the floor for a vote.

•    After your call, please report your results to our partners at the Empire State Pride Agenda at prideagenda@prideagenda.org, and let them know which senators you called and what response your received. Your feedback will help us pass GENDA in 2010.

•    Phone bank for GENDA this Thursday. If you have time to spare, you can make a huge difference. Go to the Empire State Pride Agenda offices this Thursday, March 11th from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Contact Joanna at 212.627.0305 x103 or at jsolmonsohn@prideagenda.org for more information.

78% of New York voters already support GENDA, and it’s about time that the Senate listens and ends discrimination against transgender New Yorkers. We’re at a crucial moment, and with your help, we can make sure to pass GENDA now.

In Solidarity,


For Transgender People, Name Is a Message

January 26, 2010

by William Glaberson | New York Times

Katherine used to be Miguel. Olin had a girl’s name. And in October, Robert Ira Schnur, 70, became Roberta Iris Schnur, a Manhattan retiree with magenta lipstick and, she noted the other day, chipped silver nail polish.

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Paterson to Extend Protection to Transgender Employees

December 15, 2009

by Jeremy W. Peters | New York Times

Gov. David A. Paterson is preparing to issue an executive order that would include transgender people in antidiscrimination policies that govern state agencies.

The order, which the governor plans to sign on Wednesday, represents the broadest protections ever extended to transgender public employees in New York State. A number of cities throughout the state, including Buffalo, Albany, Rochester and New York City, already prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or gender expression.

No equivalent state law exists, however, despite repeated efforts by gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender advocates to pass one in the State Legislature.

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Join New York State Governor David A. Paterson on Wednesday, December 16th, when he makes the announcement. Click here for more information.


Watch NY State Senator Diane Savino Speak on Marriage Equality

December 2, 2009

Thank You Empire State Agenda for Your Leadership in the Fight for Marriage Equality in New York

December 2, 2009

Pride Agenda Executive Director Reacts to Today’s Vote on Marriage Equality in the New York State Senate

Moments ago, the Pride Agenda released the following statement from Executive Director Alan Van Capelle:

“While we are disappointed by today’s vote, we are pleased that the issue of marriage equality at last was debated in the New York State Senate. We had long called for a public debate on this matter so we could determine who was truly on our side.

It is a step forward for our democratic process in New York that a debate and vote have now occurred. Now we know where we stand, and where we need to concentrate our efforts in the future.

We are incredibly thankful to those who have stood with us and will continue to stand with us as our community presses forward to win marriage equality.  In this regard:

We thank Governor Paterson for his unstinting support;

We thank each of the Senators who pushed for a vote and stood with us when it was time to be counted;

We also thank the members of the New York State Assembly—led by Speaker Sheldon Silver and Assemblymember Daniel O’Donnell—who have three times now voted for marriage equality by increasingly bipartisan majorities; and

We thank our many allies in the labor, faith and the business communities for their support and willingness to speak out.

To the tens of thousands of LGBT New Yorkers who have worked hard for equality, and to those who may for the very first time have become politically involved due to this fight, our message is as follows:

Our fight continues.  Marriage equality is coming to New York. Time clearly is on our side and you can be sure that we will never stop working until we win.

To those Senators who do not yet see our families as deserving the same protections as other families in New York, our message is simple:

We are more committed than ever to this fight. We will redouble our efforts in your district to ensure that our voice is heard. We know our cause is just. We know that a growing majority of New Yorkers believes in the same values of fairness and equality that we do.  If you cannot support us, we will find candidates for public office who do, and we will work through the democratic system to affect needed change.”


Rep. Jerrold Nadler’s Statement on New York State Senate Vote on Gay Marriage

December 2, 2009

Today, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (NY-08), Chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, and longtime advocate of marriage equality and LGBT rights, issued the following statement:

“I am extremely disappointed by today’s vote against marriage equality in the New York State Senate.  But we must remind ourselves that this is just one battle in a longstanding struggle, and our resolve should only be strengthened.  We will ultimately be vindicated in our march toward marriage equality, and those who stood on the wrong side of history will one day regret it.  Today’s vote was truly historic in that it actually happened at all in a national climate where marriage equality and LGBT rights are, more often than not, taking a back seat to other issues.  Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to put this issue on our state’s agenda – Majority Leader John Sampson, Senator Tom Duane, the Empire State Pride Agenda, Gill Action, and many others.”


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