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.
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.
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.