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People's Platform

This platform represents a shared vision of justice and equity for the future of the LGBTQ community in New York State. Community leaders from every region in New York worked in collaboration to develop this inclusive, people-centered plan to advance LGBTQ-affirming legislation and policies in New York.
The Pride Center’s policy platform aims to address areas where we have the necessary resources, expertise and capacity to advocate effectively on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community in New York. We also recognize, uplift and support allied organizations and coalitions who lead on other important community needs that are not specifically addressed on this platform.

The Vision 

Equity and Inclusion for Transgender and Gender Nonconforming (TGNC) People
We envision safe, inclusive and affirming settings for TGNC people that are free from discrimination and violence.
Increased Access to Affirming Mental Health Services
We envision reduced barriers to culturally competent and affirming services for LGBTQ+ people living with mental health challenges.
Restorative Justice Principles
We envision holding criminal offenders accountable while advocating for balanced, restorative justice practices.
LGBTQ Visibility and Affirmation
We envision fair and accurate representation of LGBTQ+ people across their lifespan through consistent data collection and analysis.
Economic Justice
We envision prioritizing the needs of low-income LGBTQ+ people by supporting opportunities that end cycles of poverty, homelessness and other forms of social and economic marginalization.


The Issues

Equity and Inclusion for Transgender and Gender Nonconforming (TGNC) People
TGNC and non-binary New Yorkers, particularly people of color, face the greatest disparities within the LGBTQ+ community, resulting from a lack of equality and equity under the law. When historically marginalized communities are centered and supported, we all benefit. We are fighting for:
  • Gender-neutral single occupancy bathrooms in all state owned or operated buildings, including school facilities(NY-S815, NY-A109)
  • Three options for sex designation on NYS identification (NY-S2380 / NY-A5395)
Increased Access to Affirming Mental Health Services
Limited access to affirming mental health care harms the overall health and well-being of the LGBTQ+ community. LGBTQ+ individuals face health disparities linked to societal stigma, discrimination and denial of their civil and human rights. Discrimination against LGBTQ+ people has been associated with high rates of psychiatric disorders, substance abuse and suicide.
We are fighting for:
  • LGBTQ+ Long-term care facility residents’ bill of rights (NY-S2912 / NY-A866)
Restorative Justice Principles
The criminal legal system is not designed to be rehabilitative, and disproportionately targets marginalized communities including LGBTQ+ people and people of color. Restorative justice is an evidence-based alternative approach. It views crime beyond the act of breaking the law, understanding that criminal penalties alone do not change hearts and minds, and recognizing that certain crimes require thoughtfully addressing the harm caused to people, relationships and the broader community.
We are fighting for:
  •  Limiting the use of the “gay/trans panic” defense (NY-S2987 / NY-A2400)
  • A reporting bill on the Hate Crimes Act that collects and reports data on the sexual orientation, gender identity and racial or ethnic identity of victims and alleged perpetrators (Hate Crimes Act Analysis and Review Act pending introduction)
LGBTQ Visibility and Affirmation
New York fails to consistently collect data on the LGBTQ+ community or analyze trends in the limited data that is collected. As a result, the full demographic, social and economic information necessary to support community needs is missing.
We are fighting for:
  •  Legislation to revive and implement Governor Cuomo’s 2014 LGBT Data Collection initiative, which would reinstate the requirement that eight NYS agencies collect SOGI data, and expand it to all direct service NYS agencies (NY-S47)
Economic Justice
Low-income LGBTQ people of all ages struggle to pay for their basic needs. TGNC people in particular experience profound barriers to employment, housing and education.
We are fighting for:
  •  The creation, funding and promotion of economic justice opportunities tailored to the LGBTQ+ community, with a particular focus on LGBQ youth, people of color and TGNC individuals (LGBTQ+ Economic Justice Initiative pending introduction)
Comprehensive Sexuality Education 
Comprehensive sexuality education covers critical topics including consent, healthy relationships, accessing health services, and the use of technology and social media in intimate relationships. Importantly, by including LGBQ and TGNC identities in each topic, comprehensive sexuality education is critical in shifting stigma and changing norms, attitudes, and behaviors.
We are fighting for:
  • A bill that would require comprehensive, age-appropriate, evidence-based K-12 sexuality education that meets the National Sexuality Education Standards for all New York youth. NY-A6512 (Nolan) / No Senate bill introduced.
LGBT Awareness Curriculum
Ensuring that schools are more accepting of LGBTQ+ students and issues requires more than passing mentions of diversity in sex education classes. Implementing curriculum that is inclusive of LGBTQ+ people can help create an equitable learning environment.
We are fighting for:
  • A bill that would require LGBTQ+ awareness curriculum or instruction in schools that reflects the historical treatment of LGBTQ+ individuals NY-S1478 (Brad Hoylman) /NY-A4744 (Rebecca Seawright)
New York Health Act
The New York Health Act will provide comprehensive, universal health coverage for every New Yorker. This bill would establishes the New York Health program, a comprehensive system of access to health insurance for all New York state residents. NY-S3577 (Gustavo Rivera) / NY-A5248 (Dick Gottfried)
No Condoms As Evidence
Currently, the possession of a single condom can be used by law enforcement as probable cause for arrest on the grounds of suspected prostitution in NYS. This bill would make the rights of sex workers a vital part of our platform and address the needs of New Yorkers.  S728 (Velmanette Montgomery) / A5177 (Latrice Walker)