Cynthia Nixon hits out at Cuomo for lack of progress on trans rights and conversion therapy
Cynthia Nixon has blamed New York Governor Andrew Cuomo for stalling progress on transgender rights and for failing to ban gay ‘conversion’ therapy for minors.
Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon, a long-time LGBT activist, is standing in the Democratic primary as a left-wing challenger to existing Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Although Nixon could make history as New York’s first out Governor, established LGBT groups and politicians in the state have largely backed Cuomo, citing his support for equality and Nixon’s lack of experience.
Speaking to The Advocate on Tuesday, Nixon hit out at the incumbent Governor for blocking progressive legislation on LGBT rights.
Although Democrats are in control of the New York Assembly and are technically in control of the state Senate, Republicans have the practical control of the upper house.
During Cuomo’s first week in office, the Democratic Governor reportedly made a deal with Republicans that helped them maintain a majority in the Senate by aligning moderate Democrats to vote with them.
Nixon said: “Since our governor took office he has empowered a group of Democratic senators who vote with the Republicans, giving the Republicans the control of the state Senate.
“One of the reasons that I’m running is we need a Democratic governor who is as progressive as New York itself, and who doesn’t just act like a progressive right before a Democratic primary but actually does it all the time.”
Nixon hit out at this arrangement, blaming it for the repeated failure to pass progressive LGBT legislation, including the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, also known as GENDA.
GENDA is the proposed law that would explicitly make discrimination on the basis of gender identity illegal in the state of New York.
Although many parts of New York, including New York City, feature city-wide non-discrimination protections on the basis of gender identity, there is no statewide protection.
The proposed law has been passed by the Assembly ten times, but has been killed off in the Senate each time.
Nixon also blamed the arrangement between Cuomo and state Republicans for the repeated failure to pass legislation banning the use of conversion therapy against gay or transgender minors.
Gay ‘cure’ or conversion therapy has been internationally criticised by a number of medical organisations and is banned for minors in a number of states.
New Jersey, California, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New Mexico, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Nevada, Washington, Hawaii, Maryland and New Hampshire, plus the District of Columbia all have laws banning gay conversion on under 18’s.
In New York, there have been two proposals to ban the use of conversion therapy on LGBT minors passed by the Assembly, but both proposed bills were blocked by the state Senate.
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The Sex and the City star and longtime LGBT rights activist went on to say that Cuomo’s deal had also prevented legislation on other social issues including voting reform, criminal justice reform, and reform of campaign finance laws.
In April, LGBT activists slammed Nixon for her criticism of Cuomo’s record on equal marriage.
In an interview with New York Magazine in April, Nixon took a dig at Cuomo’s record, claiming he moved on the issue in 2011 because “he had a lot of big Republican donors who wanted the marriage issue to go away because they thought it was making the party look bad.”
Those comments were then condemned by LGBT activists who ran the campaign for marriage equality in New York, who defended Governor Cuomo’s record.