NYS equal rights amendment back on table

May 17, 2017

Democrats in the New York State Senate want to add an equal rights amendment to the state constitution.

Credit National Public Radio

The proposal detailed Tuesday would add language prohibiting discrimination based on gender, disability, sexual orientation or identity or several other characteristics.

Constitutional language adopted in 1938 outlaws discrimination based on race, color, creed or religion and a patchwork of state laws goes further to prohibit discrimination based on other factors.

Supporters say the protections are so vital they need to be included in the state constitution - and that existing rules need to be updated to include gender, sexual orientation or identity and disability. Democratic Senator Liz Krueger calls the amendment a "no brainer."

Voters would decide whether to approve the amendment if lawmakers agree to put it on the ballot. The movement comes as New York State is celebrating the 100th anniversary of a woman's right to vote.