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  • LGBT New York Legislation

    This article will discuss recent legislative action in New York with respect to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) rights as well as identify areas where there is still a need for action. The problem is clear: New York’s LGBT population is treated unequally through varied forms of discrimination, from explicit disrespect and unfair treatment by individuals to a systemic denial of rights for committed same-sex couples. The goals of LGBT advocates are also clear: to change public policy and create an appropriate legal basis for equality and nondiscrimination. To do so, laws must be enacted, interpreted, or executed to achieve equality. Determining how to accomplish the goal is less straightforward. This article will briefly address how each of the three branches of New York government can contribute to the solution, and it will then focus on what progress has been made through legislation, as of 2010, in two areas: (1) relationship recognition, and (2) anti-discrimination. As used in this article, the term “relationship recognition” refers to the ways in which same-sex couples may be treated similarly, if not completely equally, to opposite sex couples. True and complete equality can be achieved by making same-sex marriage legal; a lesser form of similar treatment may be achieved through civil unions or domestic partnerships.