Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York on October 23, 2015 · Page A14
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Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York · Page A14

Rochester, New York
Issue Date:
Friday, October 23, 2015
Page A14
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Page A14 article text (OCR)

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RD@?,FF#% ,@G@,F#@B#A@CD!CA%#?,RF@ )RD%C)@ @R%RDV"%CCA@ %*""!+(#'," ")$!,&$") !$%!-("(.'%!+!)%!&+,+%#+*#( (#(1,0#1&,0$ ///L)!CLU8JSW4 -', '$#($-!(/. /("%+*( -&!)$-. "'J&W78Q;"FS&78Q; "':8OO8Q;"BSS68Q; "ASU1WSC14I8USDP8ISI "R5OJPOSJPOSQ8Q; "RQWJS&ISSQSJ;.S=<W8SQW. "R5OJP0SW6PI8Q; "#6858Q&4SUJ&=4I "ASU1WS:S&48Q;$866I RD'A#,@#(C-ATCE#K@ +,F-#?C%,(> instruct state agencies to adopt regulations that would prohibit harass- ment and discrimination on the basis of gender identity when it comes to h ousing, employment, credit, education and public accommodations. “After years of tireless advocacy, we’ve won a tremendous victory for transgender civil rights with Governor Cuomo’s announcement tonight,” s aid Nathan Schaefer, executive director of the Empire State Pride Agenda, in a statement. Cuomo’s office confirmed the announce- ment, which was first reported by the New York Times .Advocacy groups s aid Cuomo can put the regulations into place under the state’s Human Rights Law. Gay-rights groups have for years pressed for legislative approval of the Gender Expression Non- Discrimination Act ( GENDA), which would have added “gender identity or expression” to the existing Human Rights Law. The Empire Pride Agenda cited its own statistics that showed 74 percent of transgender New Y orkers indicated that they had been harassed or m istreated on the job. While the Democratic- led Assembly has passed the bill for the eighth time i n June, it hasn’t been brought to the floor in the Senate, where Republicans hold a narrow majority. C uomo has champi- o ned gay rights since taking office in 2011— when he got a reluctant Senate to legalize same-sex marriage, making New York the largest state in the nation at the time to do so. “This critically import ant step by Governor Cuomo is not only consistent with case law, but is the moral choice to protect thousands of transgender New Yorkers and visitors,” said Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, anoth- e r gay-rights group. State Conservative P arty Chairman Mike Long questioned the need for the new regulations and criticized Cuomo for b ypassing the state Legislature. He said the regulations could put additional burdens on local govern- m ents and schools. “ All citizens should be protected by the law. We don’t need to create special categories of people for protection,” Long said. “ Clearly, this isn’t some- t hing he should be doing by executive order.” JSPECTOR@gannett .com Joseph Spector is chief o f the Gannett Albany Bur eau. Cuomo Continued from Page 1A and caressing her soft head and piling on her bed,” Wagner’s mother, Jamie, wrote in a Face- book post late Wednesday night. “We have shared memories and stories and m essages of love. I could s it in her room, holding h er hand, forever. I wish I could.” This is her wish now: Please help others. “We’ve gotten the lion’s share of the love for a long time,” Jamie Wagner said over the phone Wednesday afternoon. “It would mean so much to us if peo- p le could share that with s omebody else that needs i t.” C ourtney doesn’t anymore. The 18-year-old from Canandaigua has battled cancer for the past four years, her fighting spirit inspiring thousands, including talk- s how host Ellen De- G eneres. A former stand- o ut athlete in high school, C ourtney and her mother were surprise guests at the The Ellen DeGeneres Show in early Marchafter Courtney’s story went public following her Feb. 18 basketball “Senior Night.”Her coach, Mike Brennan, set it up with Brighton coach Sam Rizzo t o allow Courtney to make t he first basket of the g ame. After a social media campaign, DeGeneres – Courtney’s favorite comedian – invited Courtney to be in her audience, then surprised her during the show by inviting her on stage and interviewing her. Now thousands and t housands of people from a ll over the country were r ooting for Courtney Wagn er. She played several matches with the Braves’ soccer team last fall, but her condition worsened. She couldn’t play basketball. William Smith Col- l ege in Geneva had al- r eady committed to Wagn er, saying she’d be on its soccer team one day, having seen Courtney’s ability in that sport when she was still well enough to play. She’slisted on the ros- t er on the college’s w ebsite. Her teammates w ear purple T-shirts that say, “Courtney’s Crew.” They’re asking fans to wear purple at Saturday’s home match. Courtney had to stop going to classes in early September w hen pain in her neck in- t ensified. About a month a go, an MRI revealed the t reatments that had been working against the tumors in her neck and spine were no longer effective. Now, her family waits by her bedside, their emotions jangled, changing from moment to moment, hour to hour, day to day. “ I never would have p redicted that there w ould be any happiness in these days, but there is,” Jamie Wagner wrote on the “Courtney Kicking Cancer” Facebook page late Sunday night. “We are desperately sad, and yet Courtney keeps providing us with a reason to smile. I marvel at the amazing girl s he is.” I n the face of all this, J amie Wagner asks the p ublic to help others. She thanks those who already have donated in Courtney’s honor to St. Baldrick’s, a charity for childhood cancer; CURE Childhood Cancer; Anna’s Wish; and Camp Good D ays and Special Times in n earby Branchport, Yates County. These last few days, like the last few months, have been a rollercoaster. “Courtney has had joys and sorrows just like anyone else. She got to go to college, which is a goal she set for herself. A lot of p eople loved and support- e d her and helped her get t here, just like they have f or everything,” Jamie Wagner said. “Really, our message is to please share that love with other people.” JDIVERON Wish Continued from Page 3A “We’ve gotten the lion’s share of the love for a long time.” JAMIE WAGNER COURTNEY WAGNER’S MOTHER LAUREN PETRACCA/@LAURENPETRACCA/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Courtney Wagner is comforted by her 17-year-old twin sisters, Allie and Alex, in their home in Farmington on Wednesday. Their mom says the twins have been doing their homework in h er room every night.

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