"Whenever there's discrimination against one of us, there's discrimination against all of us."
This was Neil Breslin's refrain when he spoke eloquently on the floor of the New York State Senate on December17, 2002, when after more than thirty years, the Statewide Omnibus Non-Discrimination Act was finally passed. A staunch supporter of full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, Neil has led his conference in passing legislation important to the community.
He supported the passage of the State's Hate Crimes Law and, now, that the Democrats hold the majority in the State Senate Neil is able to sponsor and vote for bills that are fundamental to LGBT equality in New York State.
2010 Legislative Achievements
Neil was a co-sponsor of the Dignity for All Students Act which protects LGBT students from bullying and discrimination in their schools. After 8 years, DASA finally passed the State Senate because Neil and fellow Democrats made it happen. It is now law.
Among the other pieces of legislation important to the LGBT community that Neil supports and voted for are:
* LGBT Bereavement Leave bill which requires employers to extend funeral and bereavement leave to same-sex couples if they extend that same right to their other employees.
* Family Health Care Decisions Act which enables domestic partners to be health care surrogates for one another
* Legislation that allows same-sex couples to adopt a child together so that lesbian and gay couples no longer have to endure the lengthy and costly "second-parent adoption" process.
Looking to the Future
There two bills that Neil will continue to fight for until they are passed. The first is the Marriage Equality bill--he's a co-sponsor and voted in favor of the bill when it came up during the 2010 session. The second bill is the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act. Neil understands the challenges the transgender community faces and wants to do all he can to correct any inequities faced.