Senate Majority passes laws to protect LGBTQ rights

Senate Majority passes laws to protect LGBTQ rights
Brooklyn Democratic Sen. Zellnor Y. Myrie.

Brooklyn Senator Zellnor Y. Myrie, along with the Senate Democratic Majority, on June 11 passed groundbreaking legislation to change the lives in the LGBTQ communities of New York State.

Myrie said the bills passed by him and the Senate Majority will institute the Modern Family Act, eradicate the so-called “Gay Panic or Trans Panic” defense, and constitute a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth and young adult suicide prevention task force.

Along with improved demographic data collection, the Senate Majority also passed the New York State Restoration of Honor Act that will correct the records of veterans discharged from the military because of their sexual orientation.

“At the start of the legislative session, the Senate passed historic LGBTQ rights reforms, and today our conference is standing up for our LGBTQ communities once again,” said Myrie, who represents the 20th Senatorial District in Brooklyn. “All New Yorkers deserve equal protection under the law, regardless of their sexuality or gender identity. I applaud Senators Hoylman, Salazar, and Thomas for making this a historic Pride Month with this critical legislation.”

The historic legislation passed by the Senate Democratic Majority includes: The Modern Family Act: This bill, S.2071, sponsored by Senator Brad Hoylman, will lift the existing ban on genetic surrogacy and provide clear and decisive legal procedures to ensure children born through assisted reproduction and surrogacy have secure and legally recognized parental relationships with their intended parents.

Abolishing “Gay Panic” Defense: This bill, S.3293, sponsored by Senator Brad Hoylman, will limit the use of extreme emotional disturbance as an affirmative defense, commonly known as the “Gay Panic” or “Trans Panic” defense, to a charge of murder in the second degree.

LGBTQ Suicide Prevention Task Force: This bill, S.6315, sponsored by Senator Julia Salazar, will establish the LGBTQ Youth and Young Adult Suicide Prevention Task Force to examine, evaluate, and determine how to improve mental health and suicide prevention for New York’s LGBTQ youth and young adults up to the age of 24.

NYS Restoration of Honor Act: This bill, S.45-B, sponsored by Senator Brad Hoylman, will restore eligibility for state programs and benefits for LGBTQ veterans and veterans with certain qualifying conditions who were less than honorably discharged from military service due solely to their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression or those who received less than honorable discharges as a result of military sexual trauma, traumatic brain injury, or post-traumatic stress disorder.

Gender Identity Data: This bill, S.6321, sponsored by Senator Kevin Thomas, will require the collection of additional demographic information for an improved understanding of the diversity of the state’s LGBTQ community and its needs and experiences.

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