Empire State Pride Agenda
New York's LGBT Civil Rights & Advocacy Organization
The Empire State Pride Agenda is New York's statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights and advocacy organization.
Our mission is to win equality and justice for LGBT New Yorkers and our families. We recognize that while significant cultural, legal and governmental advances have led to greater equality for LGBT New Yorkers, we and our families remain highly vulnerable without the vast majority of rights and protections that most New Yorkers take for granted.
Through our education, organizing and advocacy programs, we work toward creating a broadly diverse alliance of LGBT people and our allies in government, communities of faith, labor, all sectors of the workforce and other social justice movements to achieve equality for LGBT New Yorkers and the broader goals of social, racial and economic justice.
With office's throughout the state, including one in downtown Albany - providing Internships & Volunterships too!
Equality and Justice as Citizens
Basic Premise: All individuals have the right to protection from discrimination and bias-motivated harassment and violence. To secure these rights, we must:
- Secure measures that explicitly prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and expression in employment, housing, public accommodations and the extension of credit.
- Seek measures to promote the dignity of LGBT students and the children of LGBT parents by preventing harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression in public schools, foster care and juvenile detention settings, and by providing access to medically accurate, LGBT culturally competent sex education.
- Ensure that New York’s Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act (SONDA) fulfills its promise of ending discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in employment, housing, public accommodations, education and extension of credit, especially by fostering LGBT-friendly workplaces.
- Promote spiritual and religious spaces that are free from discrimination and bias and that celebrate LGBT congregants in a spirit of love.
- Oppose discriminatory governmental intrusion into matters of gender identity, including the issuance of driver licenses and ID cards.
- Ensure that LGBT New Yorkers as they age are supported by programs that are responsive to their needs and respect both their individual dignity and their caregiving relationships, including the companionship of their partners and families.
- Support efforts to prevent and respond to hate crimes across the state.
- Oppose attempts to stigmatize or criminalize people living with HIV/AIDS.
- Oppose discriminatory governmental actions that curtail the full and open civic participation of LGBT people, including in military service and donation by gay men of blood, sperm and organs.
Equal Protection for Our Families
Basic Premise: The families of LGBT people – the caregiving units we form to support each other and nurture our children – deserve the support of government and society. To end the discriminatory treatment of our families, we must:
- Support same-sex couples having the same freedom to marry and rights and responsibilities enjoyed by other couples and oppose all attempts, including constitutional amendments and so-called “Defense of Marriage Acts,” to limit access to marriages by same-sex couples.
- Secure comprehensive measures that end discrimination against LGBT families in such areas as taxation, insurance, medical decision-making, access to Family Court, bereavement and family leave equity and inheritance.
- Support efforts to secure equal parenting rights for LGBT people including equal access to safe and affordable reproductive technologies, adoptions and foster care opportunities.
- Require that public and private entities, including employers, businesses and government agencies, honor and respect the legal marriages, civil unions and domestic partnerships of same-sex couples performed in other states and countries.
- Work to prevent state and local governments from using public funds to do business with companies that fail to extend to the domestic partners of their employees benefits equal to those extended to spouses.
Our Fair Share of Governmental Benefits and Services
Basic Premise: New York State must live up to its constitutional promise of providing a health and social service safety net that works for the common good of all New Yorkers. To ensure this access, we must:
- Secure and increase funding specifically targeted to meet the ongoing health and social service needs of New York’s LGBT communities.
- Support equal treatment and access to services for LGBT New Yorkers from all state and local agencies through their policies, regulations, strategic plans and programs.
- Support policy reform to end discrimination against our families in state and local government relief and entitlement programs such as Workers’ Compensation, Unemployment Compensation, and public employee death benefits.
- Support efforts to obtain adequate funding to meet the needs of all communities in New York State affected by HIV/AIDS and the abuse of so-called “party drugs” such as crystal methamphetamine (“crystal meth”).
Creating a Fairer New York
Basic Premise: Our fight for the rights of LGBT New Yorkers is part of a broader vision of a more fair and just New York State. To achieve that vision, we are an organization that welcomes the active involvement of our allies as advocates and members. In order to assure them of our commitment to support our common struggles for equality and justice, we support actions that:
- Foster a more open, transparent and efficient state government.
- Require that all people have the right to sexual privacy and control of their own bodies, including full access to reproductive healthcare and safe abortions.
- Further racial equality and justice.
- Seek sexual and gender equality, including combating violence against women.
- Promote equality and justice for immigrants and refugees.
- Foster a fair taxation system based on sound fiscal policy and balanced budgets.
- Promote a fair, just and humane criminal justice system that protects all New Yorkers in their homes and on the streets.
- Encourage workplaces that respect employees with safe and humane working conditions, including the ability of workers to organize.
- Seek affordable housing for the poor and shelter for the homeless.
- Break down barriers based on class and economic status.
- Improve the health of New Yorkers by increasing access to both physical and mental healthcare, opposing attempts to weaken support programs like Medicaid and Medicare.
- Promote equality and justice for people with disabilities in healthcare, employment and access to education, public transportation and services that they require to access the world outside their homes.
- Champion clean air, water and land in recognition that a sustaining environment is the minimum requirement for a productive life.