Barbara has been a strong and consistent advocate for human rights. She co-sponsored and voted for the Marriage Equality Act in the Assembly every year since 2007 before it finally passed the Senate and became law. She proudly led the debate in the Assembly on its last passage that historic year. She co-sponsored and voted for the Dignity for All Students Act, which outlaws bullying in PreK-12 schools, and has voted numerous times for the Gender Expression Non-discrimination Act (GENDA), which would outlaw gender expression discrimination in employment.
Barbara also considers Reproductive Rights a basic human right. She believes that all people have a right to control their own bodies and make their own health care and reproductive decisions according to their own religious or moral beliefs -- without government interference. She has voted several times now to codify Roe v. Wade into New York State law to make sure that a woman’s health, as well as her life, is protected under our law.
Barbara believes that people with disabilities have a right to full participation in public life. Her ADA compliance bill, would waive the New York’s sovereign immunity and make sure the state complies with the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and three other major federal acts – the ADEA (Age Discrimination in Employment Act), the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act)
and the FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) -- along with the private businesses and local governments which already have to comply with the ADA.
She has supported the implementation of the US Supreme Court’s Olmstead Decision requiring that those with mental disabilities live in the least restrictive setting, but with the understanding that states and localities have comprehensive plans are in place to make sure they have the community services and supports they need. She has strongly supported the development of Supportive Housing initiatives, designed to assist individuals in need, while allowing them to live as independently as possible.