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NY proposed ERA curbs parents rights over kids’ transgender surgery : opponents

Critics are raging against New York’s proposed “Equal Rights Amendment,” claiming the Nov. 5 ballot measure could curb the rights of parents when it comes to allowing minors to undergo gender reassignment surgery.

New York voters don’t yet know much about the particulars of the ERA, which could codify abortion rights in the state constitution — advanced by Gov. Kathy Hochul and Democrats who run the state legislature.

The broad language of the proposal — dubbed Proposition One — has sparked a fierce debate over what could happen if it gets passed, with opponents claiming it’ll lead to kids possibly being able to get serious medical procedures without their parents’ OK and allow transgender females to compete in women’s sports.

“Proposition One would strip the legal rights of parents with school age children to know about crucially important things happening with their kids, including controversial gender transformation procedures” the Coalition to Protect Kids said in a statement.

“Schools would be required to permit biological males to compete on girls’ sports teams if voters approve this amendment.”

The proposal asks voters whether they support or oppose adding language to the constitution 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.”

Coalition to Protect Kids NY Executive Director Greg Garvey said the ERA should instead be called “The Parent Replacement Act,” because it “opens the floodgates” for the government wielding more authority over children than their parents on some of the most important decisions of their lives.

“Any decent lawyer will take one look at the Proposition One language and say, ‘you’ve got to be kidding me,’” said Garvey. 

Critics are raging against New York’s proposed “Equal Rights Amendment,” claiming the measure will curb the rights of parents when it comes to allowing minors to undergo gender reassignment surgery. Getty Images

“This ballot initiative is written so broadly and so poorly that it could cause irreparable harm to children and families,” he added.

“Governor Hochul and her woke Albany colleagues have a lot of explaining to do.”

The group’s website includes a video saying a school could help a 7-year-old girl “try life as a boy” and help her transition without her mother “ever knowing” under the amendment, adding, “Do you think that’s OK?”

The Coalition to Protect Kids also claims that laws that determine the legal age to purchase and/or consume alcohol or cannabis, elder abuse and statutory rape could all be weakened because they might arguably “‘discriminate’ based on age.”

The group New Yorkers for Equal Rights denied that the amendment strips parents of their rights.

“These claims simply aren’t true. This amendment is about making sure our fundamental rights and reproductive freedoms are protected and never at risk of becoming a political football,” said Sasha Ahuja, campaign director of New Yorkers for Equal Rights.

The broad language of the proposal — dubbed Proposition One — has sparked a fierce debate over what could happen if it gets passed. Corbis via Getty Images

The pro-amendment group, in a statement Monday, also said, “If passed, the NY ERA would provide the most comprehensive list of protected categories of any state in the country — safeguarding New Yorkers’ rights, as well as serving as a model for other states.”

Members of the pro-ERA group include 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, Planned Parenthood, North Star, New York Immigration Coalition, the Civil Liberties Union, NEW Pride Agenda, National Institute for Reproductive Health Action Fund, NAACP, Make the Road New York and New York State United Teachers.

New York already has among the strongest abortion laws in the country and long been a pro-choice, with critics questioning whether such a controversial issue belongs in the constitution.

“It’s an ‘anything goes’ amendment,” said state Conservative Party chairman Gerard Kassar, whose party will campaign against the ERA.

He also said Democrats are looking to “change the conversation” away from problems they own — such as the migrant crisis and crime.

A lawsuit has been filed in Livingston County Supreme Court claiming that the legislature approved the proposed amendment going to the voters before getting a legal opinion from state Attorney General Letitia James’ Office. X / @ProtectKidsNY

A lawsuit has been filed in Livingston County Supreme Court claiming that the legislature approved the proposed amendment going to the voters before getting a legal opinion from state Attorney General Letitia James’ Office.

There’s also been a recent public backlash in New York against permitting trans females from competing in women’s sports, leading to a controversial ban in some sporting venues in Nassau County.

Even one of the world’s most famous transgender females — Caitlyn Jenner — the former 1976 Olympic decathlon champion as Bruce Jenner — is opposed.

Additional reporting by Vaughn Golden

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