Our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community is an integral part of our district
Our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community is an integral part of our district. They are our family, friends, and neighbors. Although our city and state have made some great strides towards protecting LGBT rights, much more must to be done. Many still face discriminatory practices in the workplace, housing, and public accommodations. Additionally, key services like healthcare, are generally not culturally-competent or readily available. To protect the rights of our LGBT family, we must:
PASS GENDA (Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act)
One of my top priorities as the next Assembly Member for the 39th District will be to help pass GENDA (Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act). This important piece of legislation will make gender identity and expression protected classes under the state’s existing human rights law. It will help ensure cultural competency of health and social service providers, and equal access to healthcare and health insurance. Additionally, I will push to secure funding that will ensure the successful implementation of GENDA, including community education and appropriate enforcement.
BAN CONVERSION THERAPY
Conversion therapy is a fraudulent scheme intended to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity. We must protect our LGBT youth from this unethical and inhumane practice. It is already banned in New York City and recently, the Governor banned medical insurers from paying for this service. But more must be done. When elected, I will push for a complete ban on conversion therapy in order to better protect everyone from a practice devoid of any scientific validity, and which poses serious dangers to patients — especially to minors. Additionally, I will fight for funding to ensure the successful implementation of the ban, which would include a hotline, community education, and appropriate enforcement.
INCLUDE LGBT HISTORY IN OUR SCHOOL’S CURRICULUM
In the State Legislature, I will be a leader in coordinating with the State Department of Education to incorporate LGBT history in the curriculum. Ensuring the inclusion of key moments in the gay rights movements and the important contributions of LGBT individuals in history. I am a firm believer that in order to have a truly inclusive curriculum, we must include LGBT history, while providing educators with the necessary resources to teach it to all ages. This would improve the learning environment and benefit every student in the classroom.
PROTECT STUDENTS FROM BULLYING AND HARASSMENT
We must pass legislation to address bullying in all schools, this includes: 1) Increased training for all school staff and School Safety Officers (SSOs), to address and prevent discrimination and harassment. 2) Accessible information about DASA (Dignity for All Students), to ensure students understand their rights and their school’s responsibilities. This can include letters to students and parents, updated information on school websites (as required), posters on campus, and information in morning announcements. 3) Mandatory cyberbullying prevention policies in place for students and training for educators.
COMPREHENSIVE SEX EDUCATION
It is a basic human right to receive age-appropriate comprehensive sex education in schools to promote acceptance and health. It should: 1) Incorporate positive examples of LGBT identities and relationships in sex education. 2) Inform students of their right to receive confidential health care, including sexual and mental health care, as well as resources about LGBT-friendly service providers. 3) Provide parents with culturally and linguistically appropriate resources to help support their LGBT children. 4) Helps students recognize healthy relationships and known when to seek help.
CULTURALLY COMPETENT SOCIAL SERVICE PROVIDERS
We must help prevent social isolation among LGBT seniors by supporting laws that mandate funding for LGBT-friendly services, including supportive housing for aging LGBT individuals; programs for our LGBT seniors; and creating permanency by providing funding or rebates to landlords to make their homes senior friendly. I also support restoring state benefits to veterans that were discharged because of their sexual orientation and ensuring that middle class seniors are not prevented from accessing much needed social services.