The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is announcing the release of guidelines regarding gender and identity discrimination from the New York City Commission on Human Rights this week. Michael Bloomberg signed a human rights law including transgender rights in 2002. When you read about civil rights progress like this in NYC, it almost cannot be reconciled with the horrors that continue to occur for LGBT folks in other parts of the country. From the release:

“These guidelines are a vital step toward preventing discrimination against transgender people in New York City,” said Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and a member of the working group that worked on the guidelines with staff of the Commission on Human Rights. “Many employers, landlords and business owners do not understand let alone know how to avoid discrimination based on gender identity and these guidelines provide real education and guidance.”

“The transgender community still faces persistent and severe discrimination, being turned away from housing, health care, and employment on the basis of gender identity and gender expression,” says Carrie Davis, a working group member and coordinator of the Gender Identity Project (GIP) at New York’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center. “These guidelines will help our community know its rights and make this law more effective at preventing a systemic discrimination, one that frequently affects our most needy and least powerful members.”

The Guidelines come after a two-year process of drafting undertaken by a working group of community advocates, legal experts, and Commission staff. “The release of these guidelines brings New York City into line with other cities across the country that are ensuring equality by both passing laws to prohibit discrimination, and providing detailed guidance to prevent discrimination,” said Melissa Sklarz of New York Transgender Rights Organization.

Thanks to House Blend reader Sandra for passing this along.

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding