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GMHC Applauds New York State Legislative Wins

6.28.2019
Contacts: 

Cub Barrett I 212-367-1561 I CubB@gmhc.org

 

Legislative Victories for the LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS-Affected Communities

Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) applauds the New York State Legislature for finishing a historical session in Albany last week, having passed critical legislation for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, as well as legislation to prevent HIV transmission.

We commend the passage of A1204/S2279, which will greatly improve access to post-exposure HIV care for sexual assault victims, especially in cases involving minors. As a result of passing this legislation, emergency rooms will be required to provide a full regimen of HIV post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) care for sexual assault survivors, and the medication will be covered by the New York State Office of Victim Services. As the state continues to consider how to prevent and respond to issues of sexual assault, we believe this legislation will be helpful in preventing additional trauma for survivors--as well as prevent new HIV infections.

We also praise the passage of A54/S45, which will create a process for LGBT veterans who were dishonorably discharged from the military due to their gender identity or sexual orientation to apply to receive restored New York State veterans’ benefits. According to a review of state laws by Senator Brad Hoylman’s office, “more than 50 state programs, benefits, and tax breaks for veterans are dependent upon their discharge status.” This will allow veterans who are eligible for these services to apply for assistance--a significant victory for those who have served our country.

GMHC was proud to take part in actively supporting the passage of these bills as part of our advocacy work. As both the New York State Senate and Assembly have passed these bills, they will now go to the desk of New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Statement from Cub Barrett, GMHC VP, Communications and Public Affairs

“As we approach the anniversary of Stonewall, we must defend and protect our LGBT communities, including veterans. Additionally, leading up to 2020 and the goal of ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic in New York City and New York State, we must ensure that we are taking care of all communities who are and who can be affected by the epidemic. GMHC applauds the Legislature for its bold leadership and looks forward to Governor Cuomo signing these bills into law. We’re excited about our continued collaboration to advance equity for LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS-affected communities as we work together toward our shared goals.”

 

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About Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC)
Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) is the world's first HIV/AIDS service organization. GMHC is on the front lines providing services to over 13,000 people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Programs include testing, prevention, nutrition, legal, supportive housing, mental health, and substance use services. GMHC also advocates for stronger public policies at the local, state, and federal levels with the goal of ending AIDS as an epidemic. For more information, visit www.gmhc.org.