The New York State Office of Lesbian and Gay Concerns, created by Governor
Cuomo, is the first and only office of its kind in the country. This office
ensures that state policies and programs effectively serve gay and lesbian New
In 1994, the Governor continued to push for the Gay and Lesbian
Anti-Discrimination Bill, a measure that has been repeatedly killed by the
Republican State Senate. The Governor has directed his staff to work with the
Bill's legislative sponsors and the Empire Pride Agenda to promote its passage.
During his first year in office, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 28
prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation by any state agency.
This order was recently upheld in a Court decision barring military recruiters
from state-supported schools.
The state has provided over $1.5 million in support to the New York City Gay
and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project with additional funding provided for special
The State Division for Human Rights' Crisis Prevention Unit strives to
eradicate bias-related violence through mediation and conflict resolution
training, assistance to schools in planning anti-bias curricula and through a
24-hour bias victim hotline.
The Governor has fought repeatedly to stiffen penalties for bias motivated
crimes, but these proposals have been opposed by the Republican State Senate
because the bill includes sexual orientation as a protected class.
Following the Braschi decision by the Cuomo-appointed Court of Appeals, the
Governor extended succession rights in rent stabilized apartments to gays and
lesbians, allowing them to pass leases on to their domestic partners.
At the request of the Governor, the state Insurance Department broadened the
definition of a dependent to allow insurers to offer health insurance coverage
to domestic partners. Additionally, the Insurance Department is working with
insurers to encourage companies to make coverage available to gay and lesbian
The Governor recently announced that he would extend insurance benefits to
the domestic partners of gay and lesbian state workers by the start of next
Governor Cuomo has proposed the Family and Medical Leave Act which would
protect all members of the household when there is a medical emergency.
The Cuomo Administration has provided the Hetrick-Martin Institute for
Lesbian and Gay Youth in New York City with $970,000 in funding and a total of
$2.4 million from the AIDS Institute since 1987 for street outreach and HIV