Albany, NY – As Women’s History Month nears the mid-point, on Tuesday, March 13, 2018 the New York State Assembly passed the Equal Rights Amendment Bill (A7990/S6708), to guarantee equal rights for women in New York State’s Constitution, sponsored by Assemblymember Rebecca Seawright (Upper East Side, Yorkville, and Roosevelt Island).
While New York State is one of the most progressive states in the nation on policies relating to paid family leave or minimum wage, equal rights are not explicitly provided for in the State’s constitution.
Assembly Member Seawright stated, “The women of our state deserve the constitutional protection of equal rights to ensure that progress made thus far in policies to prohibit sex discrimination is not weakened or undermined. The Equal Rights amendment to the State Constitution will ensure that New York State women are permanently protected from sex-based discrimination. I am proud to have introduced and helped to pass this Equal Rights Amendment. The time to act is now!”
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney stated, “In the era of the Me Too and Time’s Up movements, we have a unique opportunity to turn activism into lasting change, and the Equal Rights Amendment is an essential part of achieving it. I have introduced a federal ERA 11 times in Congress, but the U.S. Constitution still does not guarantee equal rights for men and women despite its overwhelming support by the American people. I am incredibly proud of New York State for taking the first step towards guaranteeing gender equality in the State Constitution. By doing so we are declaring that men and women are equals, and are sending a message that the days of discrimination against women are coming to an end. Thank you to Assembly Member Seawright for spearheading this effort.”
ERA Coalition President Jessica Neuwirth stated, “The ERA Coalition is proud to endorse Assemblywoman Seawright’s legislation, A07990A, amending the New York State Constitution to prohibit discrimination on account of sex. As our society embraces the #MeToo movement, it is past time to see New York’s foundational legal document updated for the 21st century. We thank Assemblywoman Seawright for being a champion for constitutional equality.”
Assembly Bill 7990 will be delivered to the Senate for its consideration and action.