Small thinking big about LGBTQ issues
State Senate Candidate Amber Small has joined leaders in the LGBTQ community to sign a "Unity Pledge" in support of equality and inclusion in the 2017 Senate session."It's one thing to take a vote in Albany, but it's quite another to be a leader and an advocate. There are so many people in our community who are facing discrimination every day and we should do more," Small said. "It's never too early to do the right thing and that's why I wanted to make my support of these issues known."
Small says New York State proclaims to be progressive and was when it passed marriage equality legislation, but New York still does not have protections in place for who she calls "some of our most vulnerable residents."
"How is it that GENDA has passed in the New York State Assembly nine times, but it has yet to come to the floor of the Senate in 13 years?" she asks.
GENDA, the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, is among the measures supported by Small. It would include an individual's perceived self-image, along with their gender at birth, in the state's definition of "gender identity."
She also supports measures outlawing conversion therapy for youth by mental health care professionals, as well as a criminal defense of "gay panic" or "trans panic" used by individuals who commit acts of violence against members of the LBGTQ community.
Currently Executive Director of the Parkside Community Association, Small is challenging Republican Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs for the Senate seat vacated by Marc Panepinto.