New York Must Pass An Equal Rights Amendment

With so much of the country turning back the clock on our movement toward justice, it is imperative that New York has a constitution that protects all New Yorkers from discrimination based on race, ethnicity, national origin, disability, and sex – including pregnancy and pregnancy outcomes, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.

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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 worthy of the 21st century that protects us all.

What the Equal Rights Amendment Would Do

The ERA would prohibit discrimination by the government based on a person’s ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, and sex — including their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy and pregnancy outcomes. It would also protect against any government actions that would curtail a person’s reproductive autonomy or their access to reproductive health care.

Even before the Supreme Court struck down Roe, access to abortion and other reproductive care was already nonexistent in many parts of the country – and even in New York, some people still struggle to get the care they need. The ERA would, for the first time, 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.

In the first episode of our podcast, Rights This Way, our experts break down the Equal Rights Amendment and what's next in the fight for its passage. 

more information + transcript

Passing the Equal Rights Amendment

The good news is that we are already on the path to expanding equal protection for all New Yorkers. In 2022, the legislature passed the Equal Rights Amendment.

Because our constitution requires all constitutional amendments to pass the legislature twice before giving the public the opportunity to vote on the measure, New York lawmakers must pass the amendment again in 2023 so that it can appear before voters on the 2024 ballot.

With a Supreme Court empowered to roll back fundamental rights and protections that advance equality, it's crucial that New York steps forward to lead and meet the moment by enshrining protections against discrimination in our state Constitution. 

Contact your representatives

Read the roadmap

To learn more and get involved, join the NYCLU on December 6, 2022 for a town hall about the Equal Rights Amendment and how to ensure that it is embedded in the New York State Constitution.