Earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law legislation banning the gay and trans panic legal defense (S6573/A8375), fulfilling his pledge to ensure nobody uses this abhorrent legal defense strategy in the State of New York. The Governor signed the measure, a key component of his 2019 Justice Agenda, on WorldPride and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising. The Governor also vowed to double down next legislative session on his campaign to legalize gestational surrogacy, which the Assembly failed to take up this year.
AUDIO of today's event is available here.
PHOTOS of today's event are available on the Governor's Flickr page.
A rush transcript is available below:
Good afternoon, what a great, great day this is. New York is so proud. New York is so, so, so proud to host WorldPride. Let me acknowledge some of the officials who are with us. We have Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. We have Chris Quinn, we have Randi Weingarten. We have, you can applaud, just applaud. We have Adriano Espaillat, we have Jim Gaughran, we have Jen Metzger, we have David Weprin, we have Amy Paulin. We have Chad Griffin, we have Alphonso David, Counsel to the Governor. We have Senator Brad Hoylman, who's been a champion. We have Kristen Browde, we have Dolores Nettles. We have my three daughters - Cara, Mariah, Michaela. We have Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa. And we have a lot of very important people who are too many to mention, give them a round of applause.
New Yorkers are just New Yorkers. Look, all New Yorkers should be very proud because New York has always been the home of the LGBTQ equality movement, always. It all started here. It started at Stonewall, it started when we hosted the first Pride Day ever. And we've kept that legacy alive. This is the leading State in the United States of America for LGBTQ equality. And we don't just say it, we do it. We prove it here in New York.
What was the first state to address AIDS and announce the goal of ending AIDS as an epidemic? New York. What was the first state to end discrimination against transgender people? New York. What was the first big state to pass marriage equality and send a message across the nation? New York. What was the first state to pass GENDA and end discrimination against transgender people? New York. What was the first state to ban conversion therapy? New York.
And today, we're going to sign a bill that ends the codification of homophobia. Because we have now as a law in this state, something called the gay and trans panic defense. That a person can argue - they were so emotionally disturbed when they found out a person was gay or trans that that is actually a justification or an excuse for murder. Not in this state. We are going to - not in this state. Not in this state. Not in this state. Not in this state. Not in this state. And we are going to end the gay and trans panic defense and we are going to do it right now. I will sign this now and end this law. It is now over.
Congratulations, New York. Let's lead once again.