Our state constitution does not protect all of us.
Our New York State Constitution is wholly inadequate when it comes to ensuring equality. We need a constitution with broad protections for every New Yorker. The current New York State Constitution fails to prohibit discrimination against groups who have been historically targeted, including those with disabilities, LGBTQI+ individuals, immigrants, women, and pregnant people.
We must pass an equal rights amendment that protects us all
The good news is we are already on the path to expanding equal protection for all New Yorkers.
In 2022 and 2023, the legislature passed a state constitutional amendment that creates new protections in our constitution against discrimination based on a person’s ethnicity, national origin, disability, age, and sex — including sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy and pregnancy outcomes, and reproductive health care and autonomy.
Because the constitutional amendment passed twice in the legislature, the public will have the opportunity to vote on the measure in 2024.
Adding an Equal Rights Amendment to our state constitution would:
- Broadly prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, disability, age, or sex including pregnancy and pregnancy outcomes, reproductive health care and autonomy, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.
- Explicitly include language to clarify that discrimination based on a person’s pregnancy or pregnancy outcome is sex discrimination – this is crucial given the national trend of criminalizing people for various pregnancy outcomes, as well as the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade.
- Ensure comprehensive and inclusive equal protections that will guard against attacks on our rights from the federal government or federal judges, including threats to the legal equality of LGBTQI+ people.
Read the text of the Amendment below:
A. No person shall be denied the equal protection of the laws of this state or any subdivision thereof. No person shall, because of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, creed [or], religion, or sex, including sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, pregnancy outcomes, and reproductive healthcare and autonomy, be subjected to any discrimination in [his or her] their civil rights by any other person or by any firm, corporation, or institution, or by the state or any agency or subdivision of the state, pursuant to law.
B. Nothing in this section shall invalidate or prevent the adoption of any law, regulation, program, or practice that is designed to prevent or dismantle discrimination on the basis of a characteristic listed in this section, nor shall any characteristic listed in this section be interpreted to interfere with, limit, or deny the civil rights of any person based upon any other characteristic identified in this section.