New York County Lawyers Association Issues Statement on the Passing of the Equal Rights Amendment to New York’s Constitution
Yesterday, on the 50th anniversary of Roe v Wade, our state legislature passed the equal rights amendment to New York’s constitution. As this is the second consecutive legislative session in which the Amendment has passed, it will now be presented to the voters in November 2024.
The New York county lawyers association applauds this significant milestone. While we are proud that our state’s constitution has prohibited discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, or religion since 1938, that list is woefully incomplete. The Amendment fills a gaping hole by adding prohibitions against discrimination based on ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, and pregnancy outcomes, as well as protections for reproductive rights. The full text of the amendment can be found here.
New York has a robust statutory scheme that already offers many of the protections that will be enshrined in our constitution upon the adoption of this amendment. As we have learned, however, the kind of protection offered by legislation and court decisions is all too easily lost. New Yorkers deserve better. We deserve – and we all deserve – to be confident that the playing field will never be skewed against us because of characteristics that are utterly irrelevant, and that our bodily autonomy will always be respected. We are proud that New York is positioning itself to be a leader here and look forward to November when we hope to celebrate the amendment’s official adoption.
About the New York County Lawyers Association
The New York County Lawyers Association (www.nycla.org) was founded in 1908 as one of the first major bar associations in the country that admitted members without regard to race, ethnicity, religion or gender, and has a long history of supporting the rights of LGBTQ+ people. Since its inception, NYCLA has pioneered some of the most far-reaching and tangible reforms in American jurisprudence. For more information on NYCLA please visit nycla.org.