Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Paterson to Extend Protection to Transgender Employees – by JEREMY W. PETERS – The 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. Photo

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.

Several people with direct knowledge of the governor’s executive order spoke of it only on the condition of anonymity, so that they would not be seen as upstaging his announcement. Photo

The governor’s office declined to comment.

While supporters of transgender legal protections were encouraged by Mr. Paterson’s order, they said it placed New York only in the middle of the pack among states that already make it illegal to discriminate against transgender people in the public and private sectors.

“It has been a long road, and I think New York is behind,” said Dru Levasseur, a transgender rights attorney for Lambda Legal, a national advocacy group. “So this will bring New York up to par with other states that are taking the lead on workplace fairness.” Read complete article - by JEREMY W. PETERS – The New York Times

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