Eric Schneiderman for Attorney General

“Attorney General Eric Schneiderman: Continuing New York’s Fight for Equality”

May 19, 2017

By Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

Today is the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia. For a lot of New Yorkers, and LGBT people around the country, I know lately it’s felt like all the progress we’ve made together is under attack.

I’m here to fight for you.

That’s why yesterday, I led a group of 18 state AGs in filing an amicus brief supporting Gavin Grimm, a transgender student at Gloucester High School in Virginia.

Gavin was a sophomore when he asked for the basic dignity of using a restroom with other boys. Instead of supporting him, Gavin’s school board voted to adopt a discriminatory policy that separates Gavin from his classmates. Now Gavin’s about to graduate, and he’s still fighting the idea that separate is equal where transgender students are concerned.

Meanwhile, President Trump is reversing protections proposed by President Obama to ensure this couldn’t happen again.

Gavin deserves better. And so does every LGBT student in this country. Because what Gavin’s case is really about is the basic respect and dignity of every human being.

Kids shouldn’t have to worry about discrimination when they go to school. Not from their classmates, not from their teachers, not from their school boards, and not from the President of the United States.

In New York, we’re going to keep protecting students like Gavin. I’ve made clear to our school districts that they are legally obligated to protect all students from discrimination and harassment.

When the Trump administration fails to stand up for our kids, I won’t hesitate to fill in the gap and protect New Yorkers.

And when bullies and bigots make LGBT New Yorkers feel unwelcome and afraid, my office is prepared to fight back for you.

Over the last several years, we’ve made incredible advances toward equality. We enacted marriage equality in New York and defended it from legal challenge. We joined the successful Supreme Court fight to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act. We collaborated with national sports leagues like the MLB and NFL, to create a more welcoming culture for people of all backgrounds. We ensured or extended same-sex spousal benefits for employees at major multinational corporations like ExxonMobil and Thomson Reuters.

And here in my office, I announced a policy during last year’s Pride Day to support any of my employees who are undergoing a gender transition.

We still have fights ahead. But I’ll be right there with you.

No matter who you love, or how you identify, we all have rights under the law.