The Assembly at the New York state legislature has passed an anti-discrimination bill to protect transgender citizens for the fifth time, but the senate may yet stall progress.

The lower house passed the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act yesterday to mend what Pride Agenda called a “patchwork” of protections, but the senate has consistently failed to pass the Act.

The law would protect citizens from discrimination based on their gender identity and expression.

Lynn A. Faria, Interim Executive Director of the Empire State Pride Agenda said: “Today, the New York State Assembly, yet again, demonstrated their commitment to making sure that all New Yorkers, including transgender New Yorkers, are treated fairly and granted equal protection under the law.

“Nobody should have to live in fear that they can be legally fired for reasons that have nothing to do with their job performance, and that is exactly what this bill would prevent.”

Ms Faria pointed out that the cities of Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, Ithaca, New York City and Rochester have passed transgender-inclusive discrimination laws, along with Westchester, Suffolk and Tompkins Counties. 16 other states and the District of Columbia have similar laws.

The New York State LGBT Health and Human Services Network said over a third of transgender New Yorkers had been homeless at one time. Three quarters reported being mistreated at work.

Ms Faria continued: “The New York State Assembly, under the leadership of Speaker Sheldon Silver and Assemblymember Richard Gottfried, has consistently set an example on transgender rights, and today is no exception.

“Now it is time for the State Senate to remedy the patchwork of protections that cover transgender people in localities and counties across the state and pass this statewide law.”

She concluded: “All hardworking New Yorkers, including transgender people, should have the chance to earn a living and provide for themselves and their families. This bill would provide nothing more and nothing less than fairness – something we all deserve here in the Empire State.”