Bathroom Bill Blocked!

“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Genesis 1:26-27).

Good news! The Bathroom Bill will not reach the floor of the New York State Senate in 2017.

On Tuesday, April 25, this notorious piece of legislation (S.502-Squadron/A.3358-Gottfried) was voted down, 6-3, in the Senate Investigations and Government Operations Committee. The Assembly has passed the Bathroom Bill every year for the past 10 years, and New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms has—with the Lord’s help—worked to block it in the Senate each time. NYCF thanks Sens. Ruben Diaz (D-Bronx), Marty Golden (R-Brooklyn), Andrew Lanza (R-Staten Island), Terrence Murphy (R-Jefferson Valley), and Elaine Phillips (R-Manhasset) for courageously voting “nay.” Sens. David Carlucci (D-Clarkstown), Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan), and Dan Squadron (D-Manhattan) voted “yea.”

The Committee’s discussion of the Bathroom Bill—also known as the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA)—was illuminating. During his remarks, Sen. Dan Squadron, the sponsor of the Bathroom Bill, accused the Trump administration of being divisive. Sen. Andrew Lanza (R-Staten Island) responded that Sen. Squadron’s partisan attack made him wonder if GENDA was a serious proposal or if it was just “more political nonsense.” After Sen. Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan) spoke in support of the bill, Sen. Ruben Diaz (D-Bronx), a GENDA opponent, told Sens. Squadron and Hoylman that he respected the fact that they had strong beliefs and were willing to fight for them; Sen. Diaz added that he hoped that Sens. Squadron and Hoylman respected his beliefs as well. Unfortunately, Sen. Squadron, at least, demonstrated no respect for the beliefs held by Sen. Diaz or anyone else who disagrees with him on this issue; after the Committee’s vote, Sen. Squadron took to Twitter and accused his colleagues of having “stood with divisiveness, discrimination [and] fear” for opposing the Bathroom Bill.

Supporters of the Bathroom Bill use several flawed arguments in support of their position. One such argument is the equality argument. Sen. Squadron made reference to this argument in a statement when he claimed that the Bathroom Bill provides “basic equality,” “basic fairness for all,” and  “basic protections [that] many New Yorkers take for granted.” In similar fashion, Sen. Hoylman described the Bathroom Bill as “the unfinished business of the New York civil rights movement.” There is a fatal flaw in this argument: Persons who identify as “transgender” already have equal rights in the State of New York. Article I of the Constitution of the State of New York protects freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, and freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures, and also provides that no one “shall be denied the equal protection of the laws of this state or any subdivision thereof.” No one is seeking to take any of these rights away from any “transgender” person. What “transgender” advocates truly seek is not equality under the law, but a legal basis for coercing other New Yorkers to accept their personal choices.