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STATEMENT ON THE REPEAL OF THE WALKING WHILE TRANS BAN

“We applaud the state legislature and Governor Cuomo for at long last repealing the Walking While Trans ban. Since its enactment, this statute has disproportionately been used to arrest Black and Latinx transgender and cisgender women and LGBTQ people for simply existing. The police used it as a pretext to stop and frisk people simply for standing on the sidewalk, hailing a cab, or going to and returning from work. Enforcement of the statute, if not the statute itself, was patently sexist, racist, and transphobic.

Repealing NYPL 240.37 is a racial justice issue and a gender justice issue. This new law importantly allows people who have been criminalized to have their records sealed, allowing people to finally move forward without being unfairly burdened with the numerous employment and immigration consequences that violations bring. We thank and celebrate the trans leaders and advocates who fought for decades to make this a reality,  and thank legislative champions Senator Hoylman and Assembly Member Paulin,  Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, and Governor Cuomo for urgently enacting this legislation to end this gender-based stop-and-frisk,” said Jillian Modzeleski, Senior Trial Attorney in the Women’s Defense Project at Brooklyn Defender Services.