The NYCLU today celebrated the state Senate's vote to pass the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act (referred to as SONDA ), which extends anti-discrimination provisions in state law to include sexual orientation. Praising today's vote, Donna Lieberman, Executive Director of the NYCLU noted, "The NYCLU has supported this legislation for many years, and we are pleased that Senator Majority Leader Joseph Bruno brought the bill to a floor vote. Passage of this legislation represents a landmark in the evolution of New York's civil rights law. We urge Governor Pataki to sign the bill without delay."

Commenting on the recent controversy over the need for specific statutory protections that address discrimination against members of the transgender community, Bob Perry, the NYCLU's Legislative Counsel, stated that should the new legislation prove insufficient in this regard, the NYCLU will support efforts in the courts and in the legislature to ensure that New York law proscribes discrimination based upon gender identity.