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Equal rights, at long last. (New York).

After 31 years of bouncing around the senate, and eleventh-hour infighting between gay rights and transgender activists, a bill was passed by New York State lawmakers December 17 to add the words sexual orientation to the state's existing human rights laws prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing, credit, and public accommodations. Gov. George Pataki signed the Sexual Orientation NonDiscrimination Act into law the same day.

Transgender rights advocates--backed by Tom Duane, New York's only openly gay senator--were angry because the wording of the law doesn't include transgendered people, but Matt Foreman, executive director of statewide gay group Empire State Pride Agenda, maintains that the law as written is an important step forward. "The passage of SONDA ... lays the foundation for winning full equality in areas such as ... protections for gay youth and transgender people, and recognition of our families," he said.
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Article Details
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Author:DuLong, Jesicca
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 4, 2003
Previous Article:From zero to hero? New majority leader Bill Frist has cast zero pro-gay votes, but his gestures toward inclusion give some activists hope. (Senate).
Next Article:Honoring a legend. (History).

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