The proposed 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 New York State Constitution.
New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms supports a constitutional ban on discrimination based upon ethnicity, national origin, and disability (the New York State Constitution already bans discrimination based upon race, color, creed, and religion). We cannot support a ban on sex discrimination, although we would be pleased to do so if such a ban did not affect policies on abortion, sexuality, and gender identity. Furthermore, we oppose constitutional protections based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, pregnancy outcomes, and reproductive healthcare and autonomy.
The New York State Constitution should continue to protect New Yorkers in the exercise of our first freedom, freedom of religion; religious freedom is a bedrock principle on which our nation is based. Because it is unjust to treat individuals differently due to matters over which they have no control, the New York State Constitution should also protect New Yorkers against discrimination based on immutable characteristics. Adding 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 individuals and nonprofits whose faith traditions teach that abortion, homosexuality, and/or transgenderism are immoral.
The Equality Amendment must not be adopted.