Statement of Council Member Annabel Palma

NYC Human Rights Law

Insisting that our local law be interpreted broadly and independently will safeguard New Yorkers at a time when federal and state civil rights protections are in jeopardy.

There are many illustrations of cases, like Levin on marital status, Priore[,] McGrath and Forrest that have either failed to interpret the City Human Rights Law to fulfill its uniquely broad purposes, ignore the text of specific provisions of the law, or both.

With Intro. 22, these cases and others like them, will no longer hinder the vindication of our civil rights.

The work of the Anti-Discrimination Center was particularly important to the development and passage of this bill, and its testimony is an excellent guide to the intent and consequences of legislation we pass today.

Statements from the Brennan Center and the Association of the Bar were also important to the Committee. I have copies of all three and invite my colleagues to take a look at them and review them.

[Statement at the Meeting of the New York City Council 41-42 (September 15, 2005).  The relevant portions of the transcript of the Council meeting are available from the New York Legislative Service.]