(WNY News Now) – Governor Kathy Hochul makes history by signing legislation S.5399/A.5627 on Intersex Day of Solidarity, marking the first-ever statewide law in the United States to address medically unnecessary treatments on intersex individuals.
Albany – In a momentous move for intersex rights, Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law legislation S.5399/A.5627 on Intersex Day of Solidarity. The legislation mandates the New York State Department of Health to conduct a comprehensive public information and outreach campaign focused on raising awareness about medically unnecessary treatments performed on intersex individuals.
“As we recognize Intersex Day of Solidarity, I’m proud to sign new legislation that supports and uplifts this community,” Governor Hochul said. “Every individual in New York deserves to be treated with dignity and respect by our medical system, especially our kids. This new law is a significant step forward to raise awareness of the intersex community and ensure they get informed and compassionate medical care.”
This groundbreaking law, the first of its kind in the nation, underscores a commitment to reducing harm caused by unnecessary interventions on intersex youth, who often face pressure to conform to traditional male-female binary norms. The legislation aims to foster a broader understanding of the natural diversity of individuals born with intersex traits and the potential risks associated with both emergency and non-emergent medical procedures.
Intersex Day of Solidarity, a global day dedicated to raising awareness about the intersex community and their unique challenges, served as a poignant backdrop for Governor Hochul’s historic decision. The legislation not only addresses the immediate concerns of unnecessary medical treatments but also contributes to dismantling stigmas surrounding intersex individuals.
State Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal, a key proponent of the legislation, applauded Governor Hochul’s bold step, highlighting the importance of protecting intersex youth from harmful practices. Assemblymember Rebecca Seawright echoed the sentiment, emphasizing the significance of this legislation in setting a precedent for the rest of the nation.
Erika Lorshbough, the Executive Director of interACT: Advocates for Intersex Youth, also commended the Governor for her commitment to advancing intersex rights. The collaboration between legislators and advocacy groups reflects a collective effort to ensure that the legislation not only becomes law but also initiates a broader conversation on inclusivity and respect for diverse identities.
As the first statewide law of its kind in the United States, this legislation sets a precedent for other states to follow, signaling a step towards a more inclusive and informed society. Governor Kathy Hochul’s decision on this Intersex Day of Solidarity is a significant stride in recognizing and respecting the rights of intersex individuals across the nation.