Getting queer voices a seat at the table in Albany is what Assemblymember Anna Kelles hopes her bill will do after passing in the state Assembly and Senate. It creates an LGBTQ+ advisory board that would advise elected officials on the issues facing queer New Yorkers. 

“How we can best serve them in all the services that we provide?" Kelles said. "For educational systems, in every aspect that the state government has a role to play.”

But Elisa Crespo, executive director of the New Pride Agenda, says there may be some obstacles. Last year, the governor vetoed a similar bill. She also had concerns about what could happen to the board if the majority switches from Democrat to Republican. 

“It could be a slippery slope if things change in terms of who is in control in Albany in the future,” she said.

What You Need To Know

  • The LGBTQ Advisory Board bill passed the state Assembly and Senate, and is waiting to be delivered to the governor 

  • The bill would create an advisory board made up of LGBTQ individuals who would advise state officials on issues facing the LGBTQ+ community 

  • LGBTQ+ activists want the governor sign the bill into law, but also to see state officials rebuke attacks on the queer community 

Kelles says this legislation is timely, especially as the U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case determining whether states can limit trans' youth’s access to gender-affirming care. 

“The impact that they could have is quite far-reaching," the 125th Assembly District representative said. "And that is, as I said, incalculable, the importance of that, particularly in this day and age.” 

Crespo says she does hope the governor signs it into law, but lawmakers must also work to protect the LGBTQ+ community against what it considers ongoing attacks that include battles on school boards over banning books and the Nassau County trans athlete ban

“We have to show policymakers, some of who are doing all of this just for political gain, that there could be political consequences for these types of decisions," Crespo said. "Because the majority of people in New York and across the country support LGBTQ rights.”

The board would also submit a yearly report to the governor and other officials, outlining the top issues facing the LGBTQ+ community in New York state.