Close this search box.
March 21, 2024:  Scenes from the kickoff official grassroots organizing day of action to pass the New York Equal Rights Amendment at 1199 SEIU headquarters in MidTown Manhattan.

CityLimits: Back of the Ballot: New York Voters to Weigh In On Equal Protection Amendment This Fall

With the Equal Protection of Law Amendment on New Yorkers’ ballots in November, Heather Betz, Director of NYLAG’s LGBTQ+ Law Unit, spoke with CityLimits to highlight the importance of the amendment as it pertains to the LGBTQ community: 

If [the Equal Rights Protection of Law Amendment] passes, new language will be added stipulating that people cannot be denied rights based on their ‘ethnicity, national origin, age, and disability’ or ‘sex, including sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, pregnancy outcomes, and reproductive healthcare and autonomy.   

The current iteration of the Equal Protection Clause, which was initially adopted in 1938, prohibits discrimination against people based on race, color, creed, and religion—but stops there… 

“New York would be the first state to include such all-encompassing language, something advocates hope will set the tone for other states.   

“One such advocate is Heather Betz. Over the course of her time working as a supervising attorney and now the director of New York Legal Assistance Group’s LGBTQ Law Unit, Betz has witnessed what she calls ‘rampant’ discrimination against the LGBTQ population—predominantly in the workplace, but also in people’s day to day lives. This can lead to mental health issues, she said, and prevent her clients from seeking future employment. 

“’Even though we have very robust human rights laws, there’s still lots of discrimination that people are suffering from,’ she said.”   

Read the full piece by Mary Cunningham in CityLimits from April 16, 2024. 

Share this post

Related Articles

Norwood News: NYC Health + Hospitals Expands Legal Services for Patients

New York City Health + Hospitals announced the expansion of its medical-legal partnership with NYLAG’s LegalHealth division to address a variety of patients’ health-harming legal needs. Randy Retkin, LegalHealth Unit Director, shared with Norwood News the importance of this partnership in providing legal services in our public hospitals.

Read More »
Scroll to Top