On December 16, following his morning announcement about it at New York City's LGBT Community Center, New York State Governor David A. Paterson signed an Executive Order prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression in New York State government employment.
Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund Executive Director Michael Silverman issued a statement saying, "Like everyone else, transgender employees deserve to be judged on their ability to do the job, and not on who they are. This executive order will ensure that hard-working transgender employees of New York State can work without fear of discrimination, and provide for themselves and their families. We applaud Governor Paterson for taking this important step for transgender equal rights."
Empire State Pride Agenda Executive Director Alan Van Capelle said, "This Executive Order sends a strong message that it is simply not acceptable to discriminate against someone because they fail to live up to another person's expectations on whether they act masculine or feminine enough. Hiring and promoting decisions should be made based upon qualifications and performance and not on anything else. New York now begins to catch up to where many other states have been for quite a while."
The community could also celebrate that, the previous day, the Washington D.C. City Council passed a bill making the marriage of same-sex couples legal in the nation's capital.