• As is the case with the United States Constitution’s 14th Amendment, the “equal protection” clause in New York State’s Constitution does not grant “equal rights”. The 14th Amendment was only first applied to sexual discrimination in 1971 and has never been interpreted by the courts to grant equal rights on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, and physical or mental impairment in the uniform and inclusive way a more broadly-defined ERA would.
  • According to Professor Linda Wharton of Stockton University, “…state ERAs have been an extremely important tool in advancing sex equality for women. While judicial interpretation has been uneven, in noteworthy instances state courts have interpreted these provisions in rich and expansive ways that extend the scope of protection for sex equality considerably beyond that afforded by the Equal Protection Clause.”
  • 2 Kansas Republicans, U.S. Senator Charles Curtis, who would later serve as Herbert Hoover’s Vice President, and Representative Daniel R. Anthony, Jr.—Susan B. Anthony’s nephew—first introduced an Equal Rights Amendment to the federal Constitution in December 1923.
  • The federal Equal Rights Amendment passed both houses of Congress in 1972, but it came up 3 states short of the 38 necessary to ratify it before the ratification timeframe set by Congress expired. New York was the 16th state to ratify the ERA, doing so on May 18, 1972.
  • The first-ever Women’s Rights Convention was held in Seneca Falls, New York on July 19th and 20th, 1848. It was organized by local Quaker women together with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott. Among the attendees was the great abolitionist and writer Frederick Douglass, who said at the Convention that he would not accept the right to vote himself as a black man were women not given the same right.