New York Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins Honored by 9th Judicial District’s LGBTQ Access to Justice Committee

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(Rockland County, NY) — New York Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins was honored by the 9th Judicial District’s LGBTQ Access to Justice Committee with the LGBTQ Community Distinguished Leadership Award on Tuesday, June 12 (Senator Stewart-Cousins delivering remarks – pictured above). The ceremony also celebrated fellow honorees, retired Judge Michael Sonberg and the LGBTQ Division of Legal Services of the Hudson Valley.

“The Pride Justice Awards is an impactful annual tradition in the Ninth Judicial District. Our honorees this year highlight meaningful contributions to the judiciary’s ongoing and important mission of expanding access to justice for the LGBTQ+ community,”  said Judge David Fried, 9th Judicial District Pride Justice Awards’ Planning Committee Chair. “Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins’ strong efforts and achievements, over many decades, to empower the voices of LGBTQ+ people in the halls of justice made her the perfect recipient for this year’s LGBTQ+ Access to Justice Distinguished Leadership Award.”

Judge David Fried and Senator Stewart-Cousins [Black Westchester]

“I am deeply honored to accept the LGBTQ Community Distinguished Leadership Award, and I thank the 9th Judicial District LGBTQ Access to Justice Committee for this award,” Senator Stewart-Cousins shared with Black Westchester. “This recognition is a testament to the progress New York State has made towards becoming a more welcoming and inclusive place. 

Senator Stewart-Cousins was recognized for her leadership in passing some of the most significant LGBTQIA+ bills since marriage equality was signed into law in 2011. This includes the Gender Expression Non Discrimination Act (GENDA), banning conversion therapy for minors, eliminating the “gay panic” and “trans panic” defenses,  lifting the ban on surrogacy and legalized gestational surrogacy, restoring eligibility for state programs and benefits for LGBTQIA+ veterans, and creating a suicide prevention task force for LGBTQIA+ youth.

“My conference has always been proud allies of the LGBTQIA+ community, and we will continue to stand up to intolerance and the forces seeking to erase our progress,” said Senator Stewart-Cousins.

With Robert Voorheis and Hon. Michael Sabatino, who nominated Senator Stewart-Cousins and presented the award [Black Westchester]

Senator Stewart-Cousins is also proud to have provided more than $151,000 in funding last year for the LGBTQ Division of Legal Services of the Hudson Valley to continue its outstanding work in the region.

The 9th Judicial District LGBTQ Access to Justice Committee, co-chaired by Hon. James L. Hyer and Hon. David Fried, plays a pivotal role in advocating for equality and justice within the judicial system. Their recognition of Senator Stewart-Cousins underscores her significant contributions to advancing LGBTQIA+ rights and representation in New York.

Senator Stewart-Cousins’ receipt of the LGBTQ Community Distinguished Leadership Award highlights her dedicated efforts and the legislative advancements achieved under her leadership, further solidifying New York’s status as a national leader in LGBTQIA+ rights and equality.

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins represents a significant portion of Yonkers, the Town of Greenburgh, and the Town of Mount Pleasant in the 35th NYS Senate District. On December 17, 2012, she was elected Senate Democratic Leader. Stewart-Cousins is the first woman in history to lead a conference in the New York State Legislature.

AJ Woodson
AJ Woodson
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief and co-owner of Black Westchester, Host & Producer of the People Before Politics Radio Show, An Author, Journalism Fellow (Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism), Rap Artist - one third of the legendary underground rap group JVC FORCE known for the single Strong Island, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian, Documentarian, Activist, Criminal Justice Advocate and Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale, Sonicnet.com, Launch.com, Rolling Out Newspaper, Daily Challenge Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine, Word Up! Magazine, On The Go Magazine and several others.

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