LESBIAN AND GAY COMMUNITY

  • 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 Yorkers.

  • 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 programs.

  • 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 households.

  • 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 year.

  • 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 counseling.