Two provisions meant to aid LGBTQ New Yorkers were signed into law on Sunday by Gov. Kathy Hochul as the recognition of Pride Month continues.
The measures are meant to create financial support for organizations that aid transgender and gender non-conforming people, as well as allow for a non-binary gender "X" to be used for elected positions when running for party positions.
"New York is the birthplace of the LGBTQ+ rights movement and has always been the leader in advancing equality and justice for LGBTQ+ Americans, but elected officials in other states are using their powers to take those rights away," Hochul said. "Today, I am proud to sign legislation that further advances equality and equity for the LGBTQ+ community. By establishing funds and addressing inequities experienced by gender non-conforming and non-binary New Yorkers, we can ensure that our state truly is a safe and affirming place for everyone and that the voices of all are heard."
Hochul on Sunday approved the creation of the Lorena Borjas Transgender Wellness and Equity Fund, which is meant to provide support to organizations in the transgender, gender non-conforming, non-binary and intersex communities. The budget previously included a $13.5 million pot of money to support organizations and network providers with direct health services and cultural training -- reflecting an $8 million increase.
Political parties in New York will also be required to change their rules to allow people who do not identify as a binary gender to be elected to party positions. Current rules may require candidates to select "male" or "female" when running for office. An "X" could be marked instead.
"As the rights of communities are being stripped away, my bill will help non-binary people build power in New York by being able to run for a political party office and meaningfully engage in elected positions," said Assemblywoman Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas.