Empire State Pride Agenda

The Empire State Pride Agenda (ESPA) was a statewide political advocacy organization in New York that advocated for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights, including same-sex marriage. ESPA has since disbanded after an executive order was passed by Governor Andrew Cuomo which protects the rights of transgender citizens as long as future governors uphold the law. ESPA was founded in 1990 through the merger of the New York State Gay and Lesbian Lobby and the Friends and Advocates for Individual Rights. ESPA was considered the leading gay political organization in the State of New York before it disbanded. As of 2005, ESPA was the largest statewide lesbian and gay political advocacy and civil rights organization in the United States.

ESPA played a leading role in the late 1980s and early 1990s, along with groups representing other minorities, in surveying and consulting on a new districting process for the City Council of New York City; according to some, these efforts resulted in the most diverse City Council since the 1930s. Dick Dadey served as first executive director from 1991–1997.

ESPA has been the driving force in negotiating New York City's comprehensive domestic partnership law, passing a statewide hate crimes law, repealing a 150-year-old consensual sodomy statute, and enacting local non-discrimination laws and policies in Buffalo, Ithaca, Nassau County, and Westchester County. Each year, ESPA outlines legislative, electoral and organizing priorities for the state.

In 2012, ESPA received press attention when, approaching the end of Ross D. Levi's second year as executive director, it assigned his duties to his deputy Lynn Faria pending a long-term replacement.

ESPA was a member of the Equality Federation. Provided by Wikipedia
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