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Public Affairs Spotlight

By Meredith O.

The New York State Constitution is wholly inadequate when it comes to ensuring equality for its citizens. In November 2024, voters in New York State will have an opportunity to change that and protect more people from discrimination while enshrining reproductive autonomy in the state constitution!

Currently, our state constitution only protects against racial and religious discrimination. It fails to protect pregnant New Yorkers, women, LGBTQ people, those with disabilities, older adults, and people from different countries and cultures. We need an Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) worthy of the 21st century that protects us all. 

The Equal Rights Amendment to the New York State Constitution, as proposed, will prohibit discrimination against identities that are not currently protected, including ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, and sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, and pregnancy outcomes. Very importantly, it would also protect against government actions that would curtail a person’s reproductive autonomy or their access to reproductive health care in the state.

While New York has passed critical laws to fight discrimination, without the backing of our state constitution, our fundamental rights could be rolled back at any time. Just last year, Americans witnessed this at the federal level, as we watched the Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade.

Come along with us over the next year as we work to register new voters and educate our communities about the ERA. Stay tuned for details about how you can get involved.