Governor Cuomo pushing to eliminate 2 anti-LGBT laws in New York

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Governor Andrew Cuomo is calling on New York State legislators to repeal two anti-LGBT laws.

One change would be to allow surrogacy contracts. New York is one of three states where contracting with a woman to carry a child is not allowed.

The other would ban the 'gay and trans panic' defense to justify violent reaction to finding out the person you're with is gay or transgender.

"I mean gay panic defense?! It's just repugnant on its face," said Cuomo.

The governor has been at the forefront of expanding rights for gay and transgender New Yorkers.

Friday he called it outrageous that the gay and trans panic defense is still on the books in New York.

"The so-called gay panic defense allows the so-called perpetrators of domestic and other violence against people like me and LGBTQ people across the state to claim, 'Oh my gosh, I lost my mind. I found out she's trans. It's not a secret but okay," said Kristen Browde of the LGBT Bar Association.

Cuomo said the ban on surrogacy pregnancy discriminates against gay couples who want to have a baby.

The Van Degnas had to use a surrogate mom in California for their daughter Oliva.

They're grateful to Cuomo for pushing for change.

"I think it's very important and will be wonderful for a lot of our LGBT friends and community that's trying to start families," said Andrew Van Degna.

Cuomo called forbidding surrogacy and the gay trans panic defense laws that Albany has to change.

"I wouldn't be surprised if President Trump proposed these laws," he said.

The state legislature only has a couple of weeks left to approve these two new laws. The Catholic Church is opposed. But Governor Cuomo is putting this at the top of his last-minute agenda in Albany.

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