Speaker Carl Heastie and Assemblymember Rebecca A. Seawright today announced that the Assembly passed the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), which would guarantee equal rights for women in New York State (A.271, Seawright).
"The Assembly Majority is committed to ensuring that everyone in our state is treated with dignity and respect, and are not subject to discrimination based on who they are," Speaker Heastie said. "It is time for our constitution to reflect those values, and protect the equal rights of the women of New York."
"Over ten million women residents of New York State will see the shining light of our signal vote, one year before we celebrate the 100th anniversary of their right to vote," Assemblymember Seawright said. "The time is now for my daughter and the families of all of our constituents to grow up and live in a state where there is equality of opportunity, of pay, and where fairness is our shared value by including women in the constitution."
The ERA would amend the New York State Constitution to prohibit the denial of equal rights on the basis of sex, guaranteeing the equal rights of men and women. The measure would also guard against roll backs of women's rights in health, employment, domestic violence and education. While the constitution provides equal rights on the basis race, color, creed and religion, it does not include protections on the basis of sex.
In order to become law, in addition to passing the State Senate, the ERA would also have to be approved by the people of New York State in an election.