ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — As part of Wednesday’s State of the State address, Gov. Andrew Cuomo advocated updating New York’s 1938 Equal Rights Amendment to reflect modern concepts of equality. Guaranteeing anti-discrimination legislation throughout the state represents a key component of Cuomo’s women’s agenda.
Equal opportunity is not promised to New Yorkers, and expanded protections would affect a diverse cross-section of citizens. Cuomo proposes establishing an inclusive Equal Rights Amendment by adding sex, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity to the state constitution’s protected classes.
Currently, New York’s constitution prohibits discrimination based only on race, color, creed, and religion. Federally protected classes enumerated in amendments to the U.S. Constitution and civil rights and anti-discrimination acts are sex, race, age, disability, color, creed, national origin, religion, and genetic information. No equal rights amendment has been ratified nationally, and no other state boasts statutes so robust as Cuomo proposes to combat prejudice and unfair treatment.