Senator Gallivan Sticks Up for Students

Since entering office in 2011, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has issued a wide range of executive orders. In many instances, the Governor’s executive orders have pushed left-wing agenda items on social issues like abortion, sexuality, and gender identity that he had difficulty getting Senate Republicans to agree to. Some of these orders amounted to little more than public relations opportunities for the Governor, while others were more substantive and (in some cases) overstepped the authority of the Legislature.

Gov. Cuomo has received remarkably little pushback from the Legislature in regard to his left-wing executive orders. Assembly Democrats likely agreed with those orders, while Senate Republicans likely wished to avoid controversy and to sidestep potential showdowns with the Governor during their tenure in the majority.

Last week, however, some legislators departed from the typical pattern.

On March 7, Sen. Pat Gallivan (R-Elma), joined by Sens. Daphne Jordan (R-Halfmoon), Rob Ortt (R-North Tonawanda) and James Seward (R- Milford) and Asm. Marjorie Byrnes (R-Caledonia), held a press conference at the New York State Capitol to call upon Gov. Cuomo to reconsider his Executive Order No. 155 of 2016. That executive order banned non-essential state travel to North Carolina in retaliation for North Carolina’s then-existing common-sense law on “transgender” access to opposite-sex facilities like restrooms.

In an open letter to the Governor, Sen. Gallivan noted that 13 students from various SUNY schools are scheduled to participate in NCAA Division III Swimming Championships in Greensboro, North Carolina later this month. The Governor’s executive order requires them to find lodging outside of the State of North Carolina, causing increased costs and placing the athletes “‘at a competitive disadvantage.’” The Senator argued that it is “‘unfair to make a political statement on the backs and lives of these student athletes who have worked so hard to reach this level of competition.’”

Thank you, Sen. Gallivan, for having the courage to stand up to Gov. Cuomo on this issue. The Governor’s opinions on “transgender” issues should not be allowed to place burdens on student-athletes.