I support enshrining anti-discrimination protections for all individuals from discrimination in all its forms: race, color, national origin, sex, disability, and religion. Existing state law does not provide consistent non-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The real question is why does the state even collect gender information?
We have to make sure our most vulnerable LGBTQ are protected from discrimination including our youth, our transgender neighbors, our seniors. I am in favor of an inclusive curriculm and comprehensive age appropriate sex education.
I support A00866A/S2912A of 2019-20, which establishes the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender long-term care facility residents’ bill of rights. Often later in life, people lose some of their independence. This is difficult can be particularly difficult for members of the LGBTQ community for fear of discrimination or harassment. We must ensure the LGBTQ must be protected from being discriminated against and harassed.
I support A01592/S1857 of 2019-20, which would require the board of education and the trustees or sole trustee of every school district to establish policies and procedures regarding the treatment of transgender or gender non-conforming students.
All schools must have a policy to work with transgender and gender non-conforming students and their families. For years, I have worked with the Department of Education on better serving transgender and gender non-conforming students. This issue comes up as a member of the Community Education Council. The key is that all students must be treated equally and feel welcomed and accepted in their school. Often it is the school employees, not the fellow students who have issues adapting to Transgender and/or non-conforming students. This is why clear guidelines and training are needed for all school staff on appropriate policies regarding gender non-conforming students.
I support mandating a school curriculum that includes key moments in LGBT history and adopt an inclusive curriculum. As any educator knows, our children’s curriculum is, unfortunately, dictated by what is on state tests. As long as teachers and administrators are evaluated based on state test performance, children will be taught what is on the test. One way to push for a culturally appropriate education is by adding culturally diverse questions on state tests. While clearly LGBTQ history should be taught as a part of civil rights history, by adding the questions it will insure that the material will be covered in classrooms all over the state.
I support A06512/S4844 of 2019-20, which requires comprehensive sexuality instruction for students in grades K-12 to address age- and developmentally-appropriate physical, mental, emotional and social dimensions of human sexuality and reflect the national sexuality education standards. Sex education and human sexuality must be taught at all levels in school. Sexual education must be broader than just middle school health class. It should include the historical elements, the biological elements and the social elements to provide a well-rounded education.
I support A06500A of 2017-18 and S6479 of 2019-20 which would make all single-occupancy bathrooms gender-neutral in school districts, charter schools, SUNY, CUNY, community colleges, restaurants, bars, mercantile establishments, factories, and state-owned or operated buildings.
I support an increase in funding for housing to serve LGBTQ homeless youth. Every dollar spent to help avoid homelessness is a dollar well invested. Once a person loses housing stability there is a cascade of related problems. Unfortunately, some LGBTQ youth do not feel welcome at home and feel pushed out before they can economically live on their own, so this investment is crucial to stop a spiral into street homelessness. HIV/AIDS Funding
Federal funding for programs that serve people living with HIV/AIDS has been severely curtailed by Congress over the past few years. I am a supporter of ADCAP insurance which helps many individuals cover the costs of expensive treatments, but the key is to pass the New York Health Act and to remove the insurance industry out of our healthcare system.
I am for decriminalizing sex work in New York State. Criminalizing sex work between consenting adults makes sex workers vulnerable to harassment, exploitation, and violence. Like other jobs, sex work is work, and sex workers deserve the legal protections that other workers get. I support A08230/S6419 of 2019-20, Stop Violence in the Sex Trades Act, which would decriminalize sex work in New York State but I would take this a step further and would legalize sex work.
I support A00654/S2253 of 2019-20, which would would repeal section 240.37 of the penal law, relating to loitering for the purpose of engaging in a prostitution offense and often used against transgender people.
I support A06179/S5694 of 2017-18, which would prohibit the use of contraceptive devices such as condoms as evidence in a trial, hearing or proceeding in certain circumstances. Condoms can be life-saving protection. Clearly health and safety should take precedence over evidentiary rules.
I support insurance coverage for the health care needs of transgender New Yorkers, such as transition-related surgery, hormone therapy or mental health services for public employees, for all New Yorkers through the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid. Health care is a human right and everyone must be covered. I am a proud supporter of the New York Health Act. The issue is what is considered “medically necessary” and who makes the decisions. Unfortunately for too long insurance companies have been gatekeepers of these decisions. The solution is to remove the insurance company from our healthcare system and make health care decisions based on health outcomes, not profit. Clearly, these treatments are necessary for the physical and mental health of the patient and must be covered.
I support A05257/S4702 of 2019-20, which would ensure the humane treatment and proper placement of incarcerated people based on their gender identity/expression. Everyone must be protected from discrimination and harassment that should not change just because someone is incarcerated. .