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NY AG wants equal rights back on the ballot

New York Attorney General Letitia James speaks during a news conference.
Mary Altaffer
New York Attorney General Letitia James speaks during a news conference.

New York State Attorney General Letitia James is appealing a county court ruling that removed the Equal Rights Amendment from the November ballot due to a procedural error.

New York’s Constitution bans discrimination based on race, color, creed and religion. The proposed amendment would add age, disability, gender identity, reproductive health care status and other classifications to the list.

James called the decision “disappointing.” She filed a notice to appeal Tuesday, laying the groundwork for a more substantive filing in the coming weeks.

Echoing Democrats who said last week the fight to expand protections for all New Yorkers isn't over, the advocacy group New Yorkers for Equal Rights said in a statement they're confident the amendment will be on the ballot.

“This appeal is a crucial step toward ensuring that the voters — not a single, anti-abortion litigant or backward politicians — get to decide the future of our rights and reproductive freedoms," said Sasha Ahuja of New Yorkers for Equal Rights.

Before the court ruled to remove the amendment, New York Republicans led by Lee Zeldin rallied against the amendment in Albany.

They argued that its passage would take away medical decisions from parents whose children seek treatment for gender dysphoria and would force biological girls to compete against transgender girls in school sports.

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Born and raised in Connecticut, Desiree now calls Long Island home. She is WSHU’s 2019-2020 News Fellow, covering local government, the environment and public affairs on Long Island. She received her A.A. in Communications from Nassau Community College and B.A. in Journalism from Stony Brook University. Her past internships were at the Long Island Press and WSHU. In 2019, she co-wrote a four-part series about the Long Island Pine Barrens, bringing to listeners the sights and sounds of this unique ecosystem nestled in the heart of Suffolk County. There are 300 tabs open across her devices at all times.