Realizing the trans community’s worst fears, the New York Empire State Pride Agenda announced the shocking news Saturday that they are ceasing operations after 25 years of operations.
Pushing themselves from the equality table, ESPA said that they have completed their mission with Gov. Cuomo’s announced executive order protecting transgender New Yorkers. Mara Keisling at the NCTE announced it in October with an upbeat take, perhaps without knowledge that there wouldn’t be a state organization left to advocate for the real and substantive, legally binding equality of GENDA.
The New York legislature passed laws protecting gay people with Sonda in 2002 and marriage equality in 2011. But since then the Senate has failed to pass transgender protections or “GENDA” eight times. Although there have been strong arguments since that SONDA also includes transgender people based on perceived gender identity the interpretation remains subjective.
“The mission was to get these policy objectives passed and we feel we have done that,” said Norman C. Simon, the group’s chairman and a co-chairman of the foundation’s board. The continuation of the PAC, he said, would allow the group to “maintain a continuing voice in electoral politics,” in order to safeguard its victories.
Transgender New Yorkers will have conditional protection under the law during the Cuomo administration, but there’s no permanence as it can be rescinded a number of ways. Kansas’s Brownback rescinded a previous governor’s executive order removing LGBT people’s legal protections and there wasn’t a thing anyone could do about it.
“The group will wind down its operations across the first half of 2016, working to “identify aspects of its policy work to transition to partner LGBT organizations” said Nathan Schaefer, the Pride Agenda’s Executive Director.
SO WAIT! WHAT? Schaefer just said the job isn’t finished without saying transgender and every fucking person in the room knows that’s what he’s eluding to. (it’s their little secret) They’ll just walk.
So gay New Yorkers will spend money on making sure the laws protecting them aren’t eroded but will throw the T under the bus. Nice.
Just last year the New york Pride Agenda supported Cuomo’s campaign citing his intent on passing GENDA.
It is very important to note that neither the NY Pride agenda or Governor Cuomo mentioned GENDA or any plans to introduces new laws specifically protecting transgender people.
Thusly the worst fears have been realized by those who have spent decades struggling for transgender rights in the Empire state. Cuomo’s claim as the national and world’s example of inclusion and acceptance run thin as every time a trans person go’s to court they will first have to prove SONDA covers them, making the process cost and time prohibitive.
I’d sure love to see the pre-election emails that were sent between the NY Gay Agenda and Cuomo. No doubt we’d see another gay organization emerge if or when gay rights laws are threatened.