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Cuomo’s 20th proposal for 2020: Expand equal rights, protections in New York

Governor Andrew Cuomo is taking on additional equal rights measures.

His 20th proposal of the 2020 agenda includes passing an Equal Rights Amendment to establish sex, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes.

“In New York, we believe in full equality for every person—period,” Governor Cuomo said. “But our federal and state constitutions don’t protect against discrimination on the basis of sex, ethnicity, gender identity and other characteristics that make us so unique and our diversity so great. That ends this year. We will pass an expanded, nation-leading Equal Rights Amendment so that no matter what happens at the federal level, all New Yorkers will be afforded the complete and unequivocal protections they deserve.”

The federal Equal Rights Amendment has not yet been ratified, and the New York State Constitution’s Equal Rights Amendment only prohibits discrimination based on race, color, creed, or religion. While important, this amendment – which was adopted in 1938 – reflects an outdated conception of equality, according to Cuomo, and must be updated to guarantee much broader anti-discrimination protections.

Governor Cuomo will seek to amend the New York State Constitution’s Equal Rights Amendment so that New York sets the national standard for how states protect equal rights.

He will additionally seek to add sex as a protected class to Section 11 of Article I, ensuring that all New Yorkers, regardless of their gender, are fully protected by the State constitution.

Additionally, he will push for the addition of other categories, including ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity so that those critically important protections are also enshrined into the State constitution.


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