To the Editor: In a recent letter to the editor, the New York State Division of Human Rights' regulations banning discrimination against transgender people were described as negating the "will of the people." They do no such thing. The governor asked the state agency tasked with protecting all New Yorkers from discrimination to interpret the Human Rights Law consistent with how courts already do.

New York and federal courts have ruled that transgender people are protected by laws that prohibit "discrimination based on sex." Additionally, New York courts have ruled that people diagnosed with gender dysphoria are protected by laws that prohibit "discrimination based on disability." These regulations memorialize the court's existing interpretations while we await the explicit clarity that the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act would also bring.

Further, rather than being against the "will of the people," a law prohibiting discrimination against transgender people, the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), was passed by the New York State Assembly eight times. Transgender and gender nonconforming people remain targets of assault and harassment on a regular basis. The regulations clarify that discrimination against them will not be tolerated in our society and is illegal.

Shannon Wong
Chapter Director
The Lower Hudson Valley Chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union