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ERA back on November ballot

The New York Equal Rights Amendment is back on the ballot for November. On Tuesday, the Appellate Division, Fourth Judicial Department were unanimous in its ruling.

Sasha Ahuja, Campaign Director for New Yorkers for Equal Rights, issued the following statement in response to the unanimous ruling in support of the New York Equal Rights Amendment in Marjorie Byrnes v. The Senate of the State of New York:

“In a win for all New Yorkers, by unanimous decision, the New York Equal Rights Amendment is on the ballot. This November, New Yorkers will be able to vote to protect our fundamental rights and reproductive freedoms — including abortion. Here in New York, opponents of this amendment are dead-set on rolling back rights just like they have done across the country — they are doing all they can to keep the New York Equal Rights Amendment off the ballot, and we’re sure they’ll launch more cynical attacks soon.”

On May 7, a judge ruled in a lawsuit filed in a Livingston County Supreme Court that claimed the Legislature did not follow correct procedure under the State Constitution to get the Amendment on the ballot. Justice Daniel J. Doyle sided with plaintiff Assemblymember Byrnes, and declared the amendment be removed from the ballot. State Attorney General Letitia James immediately appealed the judge’s decision.

According to the League of Women Voters, the amendment would:

— Broadly prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, disability, age, or sex including pregnancy and pregnancy outcomes, reproductive health care and autonomy, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.

— Explicitly include language to clarify that discrimination based on a person’s pregnancy or pregnancy outcome is sex discrimination – this is crucial given the national trend of criminalizing people for various pregnancy outcomes, as well as the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade.

— Ensure comprehensive and inclusive equal protections that will guard against attacks on our rights from the federal government or federal judges, including threats to the legal equality of LGBTQI+ people.

“Today’s decision to put the Equal Rights Amendment back on the ballot in November is a huge victory in our efforts to protect our basic rights and freedoms,” James said. “The ERA was advanced to protect access to abortion care, enshrine this basic right in our constitution, and protect people from discrimination. We will continue to do everything in our power to protect these rights and ensure everyone can live safely and freely in the great State of New York.”

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