I have somewhat different perspective than Byrgen http://blog.timesunion.com/transgender/good-news-bad-news/707/ on our Meeting on 23 May.
I think people need to know who the “someone” is that we spoke with. The meeting was to be with a senior person on the GOP Majority office of Counsel and Finance. The particular job was that of senior policy and legislative advisor for the GOP majority. The individual with whom we made the appointment had responsibility for health and health care. One assumes that GENDA is just an “extra” duty and as such will not receive direct attention, if any attention at all. This fact changes the importance of the responses reported.
When probed about discrimination against transgender people, he claimed that people are protected against discrimination. If they feel discriminated against his position was to hire an attorney and sue. When confronted with the possibility that people can’t afford to do that, another shrug.
Byrgen believes that he might have been speaking only for himself when expressing negative opinions about legal protections for transgender people. He was there as a senior policy and legislative consultant to the GOP caucus. When he speaks at a meeting, gives no disclaimers about something being his personal opinion, it has to be assumed to be that of policy makers.
The Patterson comments indicate that this senior advisor sees no necessity for discrimination protection for transgender people under the law.
Byrgen has hope that this is just a start of a conversation with the GOP policy group and/or Skelos and his staff. I walk away believing that the policy group has no intention of listening and learning. And it was the Seklos office that referred our letter to the senior staff.
A final point. Members of New York Citizens for Transgender Rightss in Nassau County are trying to meet with Skelos staff – to little avail.
Does any of this sound as though they are going to put GENDA on the floor for a vote? You decide.
Moral? Vote the GOP into a minority to get anti-discrimination for transgender people to the floor of the Senate.