In a significant move to safeguard the rights of the LGBTQ+ community, the governor of New York, Kathy Hochul, has signed legislation aimed at offering explicit protections, particularly for transgender youth.
The Historic Occasion
The signing took place ahead of the NYC Pride parade in Manhattan, making it a momentous occasion for the state’s commitment to inclusivity and equality.
Among the landmark bills signed into law is S.2475-B/A.6046-B, which establishes New York as a “safe haven” for transgender youth.
Safe Haven for Trans Youth
The legislation specifically prevents out-of-state agencies and laws from interfering with gender-affirming care within New York.
Other States Blocked From Interference
It ensures that individuals seeking such care in the state are protected and shields them from being subpoenaed for out-of-state legal proceedings.
Several Bills Were Signed
Another crucial bill, S.993-A/A.4903, requires substance-abuse services to provide treatment that is sensitive to and inclusive of gender identity.
Trans Rights Were a Focus
This legislation acknowledges the unique challenges faced by transgender individuals in accessing appropriate care and aims to address this disparity.
The Governor Slammed Other States for Anti-LGBTQ+ Laws
Speaking before the signing, Governor Hochul criticized other states for enacting anti-LGBTQ+ legislation and emphasized that such actions are fundamentally wrong.
No American Should Endure Injustice
She expressed her belief that no American should have to endure these injustices and highlighted New York’s commitment to values such as love, equality, progress, acceptance, and celebration.
New York Has Always Been Leading Change for LGBTQ+ Rights
The governor emphasized that New York has a history of leading the charge for LGBTQ+ rights in the United States and presented the state as a model for the rest of the country to follow in treating LGBTQ+ individuals with dignity and respect.
Gender Neutral Laws Were Signed
In addition to these measures, the governor signed two bills focused on gender-neutral language.
State laws and websites will now be required to utilize gender-neutral terms, promoting inclusivity and recognizing the diverse gender identities within the population.
Changing the Definition
Plus, the definition of “sexual orientation” in New York’s human rights law has been updated to encompass “heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, or asexuality” whether actual or perceived.
This amendment ensures that the law explicitly protects individuals based on their sexual orientation, regardless of how it is perceived by others.
The Governor Affirmed Her Commitment to Progress
Governor Hochul later took to social media to express her pride in signing this groundbreaking legislation, hailing it as “nation-leading” and reaffirming New York’s commitment to progress.
Several Celebrities Supported the Bill
Her sentiments were echoed by actor Billy Porter, one of the co-grand marshals for NYC Pride, who commended the state for moving forward and defended the progress made in LGBTQ+ rights.
You’re Welcome Here
He welcomed those facing persecution in their states, stating, “If you’re being persecuted by the laws in your state, you can find a safe haven here.”
The Bill Also Faced Criticism
However, not everyone supported the bill. One Twitter user wrote, “She’s literally using this agenda to write more laws that can be twisted and used to grab more power.”
Another Twitter user commented, “This tweet about New York being a safe haven is misinformation. This woman is wrong to hate migrants. She waited a year to help the city house them upstate.”
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