The ERA/Women’s Civil Rights Committee focuses its efforts on securing passage of an equal rights amendment to the New York State and U.S. Constitutions to add gender and other potentially other protected characteristics to the short list of very characteristics currently included. Both state and federal constitutional amendments are necessary to end distinctions that exist in the legal treatment of women in many areas including divorce, property, and employment.
In 2019, the New York State Legislature proposed two different bills to amend the New York State Constitution were proposed, both of which would have added sex/gender to the list of protected classifications and one of which proposed adding additional characteristics to the list of protections for equal treatment. These bills were never passed into law.
The federal ERA, which would add equal rights for all Americans regardless of sex, is the proposed 27th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The amendment passed the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives over 47 years ago on March 22, 1972. However, the ERA never became law because it was not ratified by ¾ of the States. As of 1982, 35 out of 38 states ratified. Nevada and Illinois voted to ratify in 2017 and 2018 respectively thereby leaving only one more state necessary to secure passage of the federal ERA.
Debra S. Cohen, Esq.
Louise A. Derevlany, Esq.
Equal Treatment and Equal Protection Under Educational Civil Rights Laws