Transgender rights bill advances in state Legislature

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By MICHAEL GORMLEY

Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) – A bill in Albany would protect gender identity or expression from discrimination and subject violators to a potential hate crime prosecution.

Gender identity would be added to New York state law that already prohibits discrimination based on race, religion, age, sexual orientation and more in issues of housing, credit, employment and others.

The measure has some powerful Democratic sponsors, which could be enough to narrowly carry the bill. Versions of it have been pushed for years by gay and transgender advocates who won the landmark law legalizing same-sex marriage in 2011.

The District of Columbia, 16 states and several cities already have laws protecting gender identity and expression.

New York's large population, many corporate headquarters and national media concentration make it an important state for the effort.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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