Provides that no person shall be denied the equal protection of the laws of this state or any subdivision thereof; provides no person shall, because of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, creed, religion, or sex, including sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, pregnancy outcomes, reproductive healthcare and autonomy, be subjected to any discrimination in their civil rights by any other person or by any firm, corporation, or institution, or by the state or any agency or subdivision of the state.
NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A41002
SPONSOR: Rules (Seawright)
TITLE OF BILL:
CONCURRENT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY proposing an amendment
to section 11 of article 1 of the constitution, in relation to equal
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
This resolution would amend Section 11 of Article 1 of the New York
State Constitution to expand the constitutional prohibition against
discrimination in civil rights to include additional protected classes.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section one expands the civil rights clause of Section 11 of Article 1
of the New York State Constitution to add ethnicity, national origin,
disability, age, and sex, including sexual orientation, gender identity,
gender expression, pregnancy, pregnancy outcomes, and reproductive
healthcare and autonomy to the existing list of protected classes for
which discrimination in civil rights is prohibited.
It also ensures that nothing in such section shall invalidate or prevent
the adoption of any law, regulation, program, or practice which is
designed to prevent discrimination on the basis of any such character-
istic, nor shall any characteristic in such section be interpreted to
interfere with, limit, or deny the civil rights of any person based upon
any other such characteristic.
Section two requires that such amendment be referred to the first regu-
lar legislative session convening after the next succeeding general
election of Members of the Assembly and published for 3 months previous
to the time of such election.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ORIGINAL AND AMENDED VERSION (IF APPLICABLE):
Discrimination results in inability of an individual to enjoy the same
rights on an equal basis as others because of unjustified distinctions
made in the law or through the treatment of an individual on the basis
of a characteristic or classification specific to that individual. New
York has a longstanding commitment to rooting out and remedying discrim-
ination to ensure equal access and participation in society by all
people who have historically been discriminated against.
The civil rights clause of the New York State Constitution currently
provides that individuals shall not be subject to discrimination in
their civil rights on the basis of race, color, creed, or religion.
However, New Yorkers deserve a constitution that recognizes that every
person is entitled to equal rights and justice under the law regardless
of who they are, whom they love, or what their families look like.
Indeed, many individuals are themselves members of numerous communities,
identities, and protected classes, and true equality and justice demand
protections that recognize the interconnected nature of discrimination.
Throughout the years, the New York State Legislature, through the
passage and expansion of the Human Rights Law, has expanded what the
State defines as a civil right and has provided fundamental anti-discri-
mination protections for those rights. And while constitutionally guar-
anteed rights can be, and often are, expanded upon in the passage of
laws, our modern vision of equality demands comprehensive equal
protection. Because the New York State Constitution's Bill of Rights
does not currently contain a comprehensive equal rights provision, a
constitutional amendment is necessary to realize the promise of legal
equality and justice for all New Yorkers.
The amendment is our opportunity to ensure that New York's constitu-
tional language reflects that commitment to full equality and justice
before the law by providing legal protections that go above and beyond
the protections of the federal Constitution at a time when such individ-
uals are under attack by federal courts and the United States Supreme
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:
This bill must pass two successive Legislatures and then placed on the
ballot in a general election. If supported by a majority of New York
voters it would take effect the following January 1st.
STATE OF NEW YORK
July 1, 2022
Introduced by COMMITTEE ON RULES -- (at request of M. of A. Seawright)
-- read once and referred to the Committee on Judiciary
CONCURRENT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY
proposing an amendment to section 11 of article 1 of the constitution,
in relation to equal protection
1 Section 1. Resolved (if the Senate concur), That section 11 of article
2 1 of the constitution be amended to read as follows:
3 § 11. a. No person shall be denied the equal protection of the laws of
4 this state or any subdivision thereof. No person shall, because of race,
5 color, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, creed [or], reli-
6 gion, or sex, including sexual orientation, gender identity, gender
7 expression, pregnancy, pregnancy outcomes, and reproductive healthcare
8 and autonomy, be subjected to any discrimination in [his or her] their
9 civil rights by any other person or by any firm, corporation, or insti-
10 tution, or by the state or any agency or subdivision of the state,
11 pursuant to law.
12 b. Nothing in this section shall invalidate or prevent the adoption of
13 any law, regulation, program, or practice that is designed to prevent or
14 dismantle discrimination on the basis of a characteristic listed in this
15 section, nor shall any characteristic listed in this section be inter-
16 preted to interfere with, limit, or deny the civil rights of any person
17 based upon any other characteristic identified in this section.
18 § 2. Resolved (if the Senate concur), That the foregoing amendment be
19 referred to the first regular legislative session convening after the
20 next succeeding general election of members of the assembly, and, in
21 conformity with section 1 of article 19 of the constitution, be
22 published for 3 months previous to the time of such election.
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.