Transgender people do not currently
enjoy specific protections under federal and state anti-discrimination
laws. There are currently 58,000 New Yorkers who identify as transgender,
and the current laws mean that any of those people can be fired or denied
housing because of their gender identity.
As a board member of the Empire Pride Agenda,
I consider this an egregious violation of basic human rights, but it also
doesn't make much economic sense. A recent report by UCLA's Williams
Institute estimates several high costs of gender identity discrimination to
New York taxpayers.
discrimination costs the State of New York more than $1 million annually
in Medicaid expenditures.
discrimination in the State of New York may cost from $475,000 to $5.9
million annually in federal and state housing program expenditures and
other costs related to homelessness.
* Income loss
from gender identity discrimination means New York State lost out on some
$2.7 million in income revenue, last year.
These findings are troubling. It's
bad enough that the transgender community is not currently provided the
basic civil rights that nearly every other American and New Yorker is
guaranteed. But these findings reveal that our state's small businesses
and its taxpayers - you and I - are wasting much-needed money on
New York's current Human Rights
laws prohibit discrimination based on age, sex, creed, national origin,
sexual orientation and sex. GENDA would add the category of "gender
identity and expression" to the current law, thus banning this type
Seven cities and three counties in
New York State have passed similar legislation. In the not-too-distant
future, we're going to look back on this as a very basic civil rights
issue, one that shouldn't have been controversial. Let's make sure New
York is on the right side of history.
BALCONY business and labor groups,
please sign the Empire Pride petition backing civil rights for all New
Yorkers. By doing so, your organization will join a growing list of New
York businesses and labor unions that support equality for everybody.
Agenda, Board Member
BALCONY New York
4 West 43rd Street, Suite 405
Lou Gordon, Director
BALCONY, THE BUSINESS AND LABOR
COALITION OF NEW YORK
Robert M. Hayes,
Co-Chair Business, Sr. VP, Universal American Corp.
Abate, Co-Chair Non-Profit, President/CEO, Community HealthCare Network
Executive Director, New York Labor Health Care Alliance
Kartalopoulos, Partner, Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP
DiBartolo, Tigress Financial Partners
BALCONY Treasurer; President, Greater New York Chamber of Commerce
Ventimiglia, Saratoga Capital Management
BALCONY Communications Director and Policy Analyst
BALCONY Director of Special Projects
Brandenstein, BALCONY Events Consultant
Kevin R. Weaver,
Web Master and Computer Consultant
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