N.Y. Governor to Sign Antibullying Bill

BY Julie Bolcer

September 03 2010 3:20 PM ET

"It's hugely important, particularly because unlike some other states,
which have no laws that protect our community, there is a lot of
frustration with laws that protect for sexual orientation and not gender
identity and expression," said Sarah Warbelow, state legislative
director for the Human Rights Campaign, which works closely on
antibullying measures with groups including GLSEN. "That the
legislature is finally recognizing this is a problem is a huge step
forward."


Noah Lewis, a staff attorney for the Transgender Legal Defense and
Education Fund, agreed, saying that the act helps to advance what's already
been decided in courtrooms.

"While discrimination against transgender people has been
found to be prohibited under existing laws, having explicit protections
for
gender identity and expression sends a clear signal that transgender and
gender-nonconforming people deserve to be free from harassment," he
said.



Warbelow said that the inclusive antibullying law could provide
incentive for the state senate to pass GENDA, but progress still
depends on the often volatile climate in the senate.

"I think it
makes it easier once you have a law on the books that protects for
gender identity and expression, but it doesn't remove all the
roadblocks," she said.

State senator Tom Duane and state
assembly member Daniel O’Donnell, both out elected officials from New
York City, sponsored DASA in their respective chambers.





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