One of the bills that the New York City-based, Democrat-controlled state Assembly has passed and hopes to convert into law is the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, or GENDA.
But for the Republicans in the Senate it would be law already.
GENDA would protect transgender New Yorkers from discrimination under the state's Human Rights Law and expands the state's hate crime protections to include crimes against transgender people.
There appears to be no exact legal definition of transgender people in the bill and it seems the law would allow an individual to make the sole determination if they are transgender or not.
GENDA would attempt to ensure that people who prefer to dress, act or feel that they are a gender other than the gender God, nature, chance, karma, luck or whatever assigned them at birth are protected from discrimination in housing, employment, credit and in public places like restrooms and showers, including schools.
Today, in New York, people can be fired from their jobs, evicted from their homes, and experience discrimination because their gender presentation is different than their birth gender.
For example if a man who was hired for the job of selling farming equipment to farmers, begins to dress as a woman, he could be fired from his position.
Under GENDA, he could not be fired.
GENDA would also open public restrooms, high school locker rooms, health clubs, dorm rooms and single sex residential facilities like homeless and family violence shelters technically to anyone.
A biological male could demand to be housed in a women's facility if he felt he was a woman in spirit. He could swim with the women at the YWCA one day and the men at the YMCA on another day, if he felt he crossed back and forth between genders.
If a high school boy felt like a girl on a given day, he could shower with the girls after getting sweaty at gym class.
If a male gym teacher felt he was a woman, he could not be barred from the opportunity a female gym teacher has to be with the girl students and that includes elementary schools as well.
Regardless of biological gender, the law allows anyone to make a determination of what gender they are, and use the public restroom or shower rooms of their choice based on the gender they believe they are at the moment, making all gender-specific restrooms in effect unisex.
This part of the bill is what prompted Republicans to dub GENDA, "the bathroom bill."
Under GENDA, if a man felt like a woman, he could enter the ladies room at, for example, the Como Restaurant on Pine Avenue. Should the owner, Dominic Colucci, throw him out by his ear, as Colucci would likely do, it would be Colucci who would be punished by law, not the "man" who went into the ladies room.
As the vote to approve GENDA was read last month, Democratic Assembly members on the floor cheered as it passed.
Locally, New York State Assemblyman John Ceretto, Mickey Kearns, Dennis Gabryszak, and Robin Schimminger voted against GENDA.
Sean Ryan and Crystal Peoples-Stokes voted yes.
Ceretto's predecessor, Francine Del Monte supported GENDA.
Despite its passage in the Assembly it cannot become law if the State Senate does not sponsor and approve the bill.
State Senator George Maziarz is one of GENDA's most vocal opponents. He told the Reporter that, as long as he is a state senator, he will oppose this law and do everything in his power to prevent its passage.