The New York City Commission on Human Rights and the LGBTQ Policy Center at Roosevelt House invite you to mark the 33rd anniversary of the passage of the New York City gay civil rights law, in 1986, and to hear a distinguished panel discuss the current climate for LGBTQ rights.

The panelists are: Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and former Manhattan Borough President Ruth Messinger, then members of the City Council who voted in favor of the bill; James Esseks, Director of the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender & HIV Project; and former City Councilman and State SenatorTom Duane.

Carmelyn P. Malalis, Chair and Commissioner, the New York City Commission on Human Rights, will introduce the evening. Charles Kaiser, acting director of Hunter’s LGBTQ Policy Center, will moderate the discussion.

Carolyn Maloney and Ruth Messinger both played key roles in the passage of the bill as Council members, after a battle of more than a decade to get it out of committee and on to the floor, where it was finally approved by 21 to 14 on March 20, 1986. The panelists will discuss why in 1986 it was so difficult to pass the bill, and how that experience can help understand present and future challenges to safeguarding and extending LGBTQ rights. Progressive majorities in the New York state and city legislatures may foster local advances — yet what are the federal challenges as the judicial landscape changes? What are the issues affecting the trans community, including the right to serve in the military?