Transgender Speech Mandate Clears Assembly Corporations Committee

Ever since the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA)—also known as the Bathroom Law—was passed in 2019, discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations based on “gender identity or expression” has been unlawful in the State of New York. New York employers are now required to allow “transgendered” behavior in the workplace. Furthermore, New York’s public parks and public pools are required to allow biological males who identify as women to use women’s restrooms, showers, and changing areas.

A bill in the New York State Assembly would force even more institutions to participate in the “transgender” delusion.” Bill S.5325-Hoylman/A.6193-Gonzalez-Rojas would direct “utility corporations, municipalities, water-works corporations, and telephone service providers to allow customers to use their preferred name[s] and pronouns.” Specifically, this legislation would require utility companies to offer customers a “convenient option” to “request that the utility use the customer’s preferred name and/or pronouns in all written or oral communications.” The bill would bar utility companies from “willfully  and  repeatedly fail[ing] to use an applicant or customer’s preferred name and/or preferred pronouns” after having been informed of them. Under the Public Service Law, failure to comply with these requirements could result in fines of up to $100,000.00 per occurrence. The bill memorandum asserts that no New Yorker “should have to be confronted by their deadname or incorrect pronouns [sic] when paying their utility bills,” and adds that Bill S.5325-Hoylman/A.6193-Gonzalez-Rojas would help New York become “a safer state for transgender and non-binary individuals.”

On April 26, 2021, the Assembly Corporations, Authorities, and Commissions Committee approved this legislation and referred it to the Assembly Codes Committee. All 19 Democratic committeemembers voted “aye,” while all seven Republican committeemembers voted “nay.”

There are several serious problems with this bill. It is a complete waste of time, and it has nothing at all to do with the provision of utility services. Worse yet, it would compel utility companies to engage in state-sponsored speech about a controversial and divisive issue, and would force them to lie. The fact that the American left has embraced the unscientific and delusional “transgender” agenda hook, line, and sinker does not mean that New York government should follow its example or force others to do so.