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If you are an LGBTQ citizen in New York, it is likely that you are curious about the status of your civil protections. With all of the recent developments, some states are cracking down with more restrictions, while others are enhancing the rights of these communities. Understanding the way that the law has been written in your state can give you the knowledge you need to feel safe and confident in your public and private life.

There are a few specific pieces of legislation that are in place to protect the LGBTQ community. These have all come into place within the last 20 years, and because of them, New York is actually one of the better states you can live in if you are a part of the community, or are concerned about the rights of your LGBTQ friends and family.

The Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act

 Since January 16, 2003, it has been illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation in public accommodations, education, credit, housing and employment. An important thing for you to keep in mind for you and your loved ones is that transgender rights are only protected in regards to sexual orientation, actual or perceived. The act does not cover rights for gender expression or identity.

The Dignity for All Students Act

This act is more recent, coming into effect on July 1, 2012. Whether you or your family is a student, the law protects you from abuse, intimidation, threats and aggressive conduct such as online bullying. While this is a more general act, it does apply to any form of discrimination, including that against LGBTQ.

This information is intended to inform you of your civil rights and protections, but it should not be interpreted as legal advice.