As expected, this week the New York Assembly passed GENDA, a comprehensive transgender rights bill, for the third time. The bill is now mired in a state Senate committee staffed by the state’s most notorious homophobe, Rev. Ruben Diaz.
GENDA currently awaits action in the Investigations and Government Operations Committee chaired by Nassau County Democrat Craig Johnson. Though Johnson is a strong supporter of the measure, he has been unable to overcome opposition by fellow Democrat Ruben Diaz, Sr., a Bronx Pentecostal minister and fierce LGBT rights foe, in forging a majority in the committee where Democrats hold a 5-3 edge. For the moment, at least, the bill cannot move to the floor without the committee’s approval. Some advocates have pressed Duane to bring the measure before a more amenable committee, but that route would require a tweaking of its language, since other committees have oversight over different sections of the state code. The fact that the Assembly has chosen to move forward with passage in its current form suggests that solution is off the table.
It’s unclear whether GENDA, if it ever gets past Diaz in committee, has the necessary votes for passage before the full Senate. That’s where YOU come in. Please consider helping the Empire State Pride Agenda with its GENDA phonebanking effort to take place TONIGHT and next week (after office hours) at the ESPA headquarters in NYC.