On May 10, 2022, left-wing activists intend to rally in Albany in support of a proposed constitutional amendment known as the Equality Amendment. The event website asserts that “none of us [is] equal until we are all equal – in our lives, in our institutions, and under the law,” and urges readers to “join the fight to advance the equality amendment now!”
This sounds good so far, right? I mean, what could be more American than equality under the law?
Unfortunately, the so-called “Equality Amendment”—like many, many other left-wing measures, both in New York and across the country—is misleadingly named. The “Equality Amendment” has little to do with promoting equality, but has a great deal to do with providing constitutional protection to abortion, homosexuality, and transgenderism. Here is what the amendment would do:
- Ban discrimination based on “race, color, ethnicity, national origin, disability, or sex including pregnancy and pregnancy outcomes, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.” New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms supports the first five categories in this list, but adamantly opposes all the others. Sadly, the “right” to abortion is already protected under New York law, and sexual orientation and gender identity or expression are already protected categories under the Human Rights Law. The Equality Amendment would place these provisions in the New York State Constitution, making it much harder to repeal them in the future;
- Extend its provisions beyond government to places of public accommodation and private employers; and
- Ban discrimination “in either intent or effect,” which would make it possible to unintentionally engage in discrimination.
Also, the Equality Amendment is self-executing, which means that it would become effective without the passage of separate legislation.
The sponsor memorandum attached to the Equality Amendment reveals the intent of its sponsor, Sen. Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan). The memorandum asserts that the Equality Amendment reflects “a commitment and pathway to eradicate the systemic racism that is woven through the fabric of our society.” According to the memorandum, the Amendment would also prevent the state from using “its police power or power of the purse to burden, limit, or favor any type of reproductive decision making at the expense of other outcomes.” For Sen. Krueger, it is simply not enough to make sure that abortion is legal; rather, the goal is to make the state treat abortion and childbirth as if they are equally valid options.
A constitutional amendment must be passed by the state legislature in two separate legislative sessions (i.e. in 2022 and again in 2023 or 2024). After that, it must be approved by the voters. Equality Amendment supporters intend to push the legislature to pass the amendment for the first time in 2022. Please write your state legislators today and urge them to vote “no.” The Equality Amendment is known as Bill S.8797-Krueger; a similar Assembly version of the amendment is known as Bill A.760-B-Seawright.