Governor Cuomo has issued an executive order aimed at preventing discrimination and harassment against transgender New Yorkers.
The order [PDF] specifically prohibits "discrimination on the basis of gender identity or the status of being transgender," and makes "refusal to provide reasonable accommodation for persons with gender dysphoria, where requested and necessary" punishable by fines and penalties. The law applies anywhere the state's current human rights law [PDF] does—for housing, public and private employers, and for businesses and creditors.
"The law left out the T, so to speak,” Cuomo told the crowd at the Empire State Pride Agenda dinner last night, referring to the current law. "That was not right, it was not fair, and it was not legal."
A spokesperson at the Governor's Office said Cuomo's order is expected to become law by the end of the year, after a 45-day public comment period that begins on November 4th.
Previous efforts to protect transgender New Yorkers from discrimination and harassment had been blocked by Republicans in the State Senate, who have often worked with Governor Cuomo on issues related to real estate or the state's feeble medical marijuana program.
“After years of tireless advocacy, we’ve won a tremendous victory for transgender civil rights with Governor Cuomo’s announcement tonight," Nathan Schaefer, the executive director of the Empire State Pride Agenda, said in a release from the Governor's Office.
The release also states that "This is the first time that any Governor has issued statewide regulations to prohibit harassment and discrimination on the basis of gender identity, transgender status or gender dysphoria."