Following the recent uptick in hate crimes across the nation, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced several actions to protect the civil rights of New Yorkers, including those in the LGBTQ community. Cuomo plans on creating a State Police unit to investigate reports of hate crimes, working to pass legislation to expand New York’s human rights law to protect more students and establishing a new legal defense fund for immigrants.
“New York is, and will always be, a place of acceptance, inclusion and a bastion of hope for all people,” Governor Cuomo said in a statement. “We will never allow fear and intolerance to tear at the fabric of who we are – New Yorkers are stronger than that, and we are better than that. With these decisive actions, we say to people of all backgrounds and beliefs: New York is your home and refuge, and we will do whatever it takes to keep you safe.”
From being a leader in the winning campaign for marriage equality to combating HIV and AIDS, to removing obstacles and improving opportunities for transgender people, Governor Cuomo has made LGBTQ equality a core part of his agenda since the beginning of his tenure. Earlier this year, Cuomo took historic action protecting LGBTQ youth from the dangerous and discredited practice of so-called “conversion therapy.” Last year, he used the authority of his office to take a historic step by extending crucial non-discrimination protections to transgender New Yorkers and visitors to the state in employment, housing, and public services and spaces. Building upon state and federal case law, Governor Cuomo’s administration issued regulations clarifying that gender identity is included in the definitions of sex and disability, which are protected under current state non-discrimination law.
For these efforts, HRC honored him in February with the National Equality Award at our New York Gala.
HRC thanks Governor Cuomo for taking a stand against hate and protecting the LGBTQ community in the Empire State.