The Syracuse Common Council this afternoon passed a local law extending civil rights to all people regardless of “gender expression.” Councilors voted 7 to 1 to approve a law that prohibits discrimination based on a person’s “actual or perceived sex, or their gender identity or expression.”
The Syracuse law prohibits discrimination in employment, public accommodations, housing, school, commercial space and public services. The law provides victims with legal grounds to sue in civil court.
The measure amends the city’s existing Fair Practices Law, which was passed in 1990 to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Syracuse joins Buffalo, Ithaca, Rochester and six other New York municipalities that have passed similar legislation.
“Hopefully this legislation will bring us a step closer to the dream of Martin Luther King, where people are judged solely on character and not race, creed, color, gender, transgender or sexual preference,” Council President Van Robinson said.
“It is an honor to serve as mayor of a city that has such a commitment to diversity and protecting our transgender brothers and sisters,” said Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner in a prepared statement. “This legislation will continue our longstanding efforts to ensure all Syracusans are able to live and work in a safe environment and send the message that we are a community which cares and will not tolerate discrimination.”