The New York State Assembly passed the Gender Expression Non-discrimination Act yesterday. This bill prohibits discrimination based on gender identity and expression in employment, housing, public accommodations, access to credit, and other key areas. It also adds gender identity and expression as protected categories in the state’s human rights law.

The act passed the Democrat-controlled assembly by a wide margin for the second session in a row in a debate that lasted a mere 15 minutes.

The Democrats do not hold a majority in the senate so the bill faces less certain prospects there. Last year, he bill was not even taken up by the chamber when the Republicans were in control.

Global Strategy conducted a poll in March 2008 illustrating that 78 percent of registered New York voters favour passage of a bill to protect the rights of transgender individuals.