On National Coming Out Day Small Urges Passing of LGBTQ Legislation

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BUFFALO, NY – Today, on National Coming Out Day, State Senate Candidate Amber Small urged legislators and legislative candidates to publicly support key LGBTQ legislation heading into 2017.

Amber Small remarked, “The Republican controlled Senate has refused to allow LGBTQ bills like GENDA to even reach the floor for a vote. It is exactly this sort of ineffective leadership that people are fed up with. I am committed to changing that.” She added, “The 60th Senate District was a decisive vote in passing marriage equality in 2011 and if elected State Senator, we will ensure that the 60th Senate District is again a vote for progress. I am not only proud to support legislation under the Unity Pledge, but promise to be a steadfast advocate for all members our LGBTQ community.”

Meanwhile, Small was also critical of her opponent Chris Jacobs for his failure to support LGBTQ legislation, "You cannot claim to stand for equality while refusing to fight the discrimination that our LGBTQ community still faces each day. Unlike my opponent, I will be a partner with organizations like Stonewall and TransPAC in Albany so that key LGBTQ legislation can finally be passed in the State Senate.”

National Coming Out Day celebrates coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) or as an ally. October 11, 2016, marks the 28th anniversary of National Coming Out Day. For more information please see http://www.hrc.org/resources/national-coming-out-day.

In September, Small proposed “The Unity Pledge” committing to pass the following legislation:

  1. The Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), a bill that has passed the NY Assembly 9 times since 2003, but has yet to come to the floor of the NY State Senate in 13 years. (S00061A/ Squadron | A 04558B/Gottfried):  Prohibits discrimination based on gender identity or expression; defines "gender identity or expression" as having or being perceived as having a gender identity, self- image, appearance, behavior or expression whether or not that gender identity, self-image, appearance, behavior or expression is different from that traditionally associated with the sex assigned to that person at birth; further includes offenses regarding gender identity or expression within the list of offenses subject to treatment as hate crimes.

  2. Legislation to outlaw anti-LGBTQ conversion therapy, a bill that will protect LGBTQ youth from the disastrous consequences of conversion therapy. (S00121/Holyman | A04958/Glick):Designates as professional misconduct, engaging in sexual orientation change efforts by mental health care professionals upon patients under 18 years of age.  

  3. Legislation to ban the Gay Panic and Trans Panic Defense, a bill that would prohibit accused criminals from relying on the defense of violent temporary insanity because of an alleged mental state of panic where the victim is LGBTQ. The State of California has banned the Gay Panic Defense and the American Bar Association passed a resolution that other States should adopt similar bans.

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[1] http://sdwny.org/chris-jacobs.html (“In 2009, Jacobs interviewed with SDWNY for an endorsement, and refused to take any supportive position on a single LGBTQ civil rights issue.”)

Small serves as the Executive Director of the Parkside Community Association. In this role she is an advocate for 2,500 residents, working to enhance their quality of life through crime prevention, traffic calming, fair housing advocacy and more.  Amber also serves on the Board of Directors for B-Team Buffalo and proudly serves as Vice Chair of WEPAC, a nonpartisan group focused on increasing female involvement in politics and government. Amber is a graduate of the University at Buffalo, and resides in North Buffalo’s Parkside neighborhood with her family. New York's Sixtieth Senate District is located wholly in Erie County and includes the communities of Tonawanda, City of Tonawanda, Kenmore, Grand Island, Hamburg, Orchard Park, Evans, Brant, and the City of Buffalo.  Small is endorsed by the Democratic Party, the Working Families Party and the Women’s Equality Party.