Unfortunately, the so-called Equality Amendment to the New York State Constitution is scheduled to appear on the general election ballot in 2024.
If passed, the Equality Amendment (Bill S.108-A-Krueger/A.1283-Seawright) would create a constitutional ban on discrimination based on “ethnicity, national origin, age, [and] disability,” as well as “sex, including sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, pregnancy outcomes, and reproductive healthcare and autonomy.” New York law already contains extremist policies regarding abortion, sexuality, and gender identity; the Equality Amendment would elevate and protect those extremist policies by placing them into the text of the constitution. A bad constitutional amendment is much more difficult to repeal than a bad law. Sadly, the Equality Amendment passed both houses of the New York State Legislature in 2022 and again in 2023.
Creating constitutional protections based on categories like abortion, homosexuality, and transgenderism would force the state of New York to take sides on controversial matters of personal choice. That is not the purpose of the New York State Constitution. Furthermore, the passage of the Equality Amendment would result in the erosion of religious liberty for many people of faith and faith-based organizations.
On June 29, 2023, Politico reported that left-wing groups in New York have vowed to spend $20 million to help pass the Equality Amendment at the ballot box. In a June 29 memo, a misleadingly-named coalition called New Yorkers for Equal Rights argued that the amendment would help motivate left-leaning New Yorkers to turn out and vote. Evidently, the coalition hopes that the Equality Amendment will benefit New York’s Democratic candidates next fall and will help the Democratic Party take back the U.S. House of Representatives.
It is bad enough that powerful political forces in New York are full-throated supporters of radical transgenderism and unlimited access to abortion. Even worse, however, is the fact that these forces are willing to cynically use the Equality Amendment to boost their own political fortunes. At New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, we will do whatever is in our power to prevent this amendment from passing.