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Haber calls on Sen. Martins to vote for Women's Equality Act

Adam Haber, a Democrat running against Sen. Jack Martins (R-Mineola) for New York’s 7th Senate District, called on the Republican lawmaker to vote in favor of the Women’s Equality Act during a news conference in Mineola on Wednesday.


Haber, joined by his wife, Renee, and five women activists on the steps of the Nassau County Court House called himself “an unequivocal supporter” of the act, which calls for equal pay laws and greater protections for domestic violence victims. He urged Martins “to immediately pass this legislation in full."


“The women of Nassau County deserve fair pay,” Haber said. “They deserve to go to work without fear of sexual harassment, and they deserve to be protected from domestic violence and its brutal fallout.”


Proposed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in 2013, and reintroduced this session, the Women’s Equality Act is a 10-point plan that includes extending protection from sexual harassment to employees of small businesses.


The act passed in the Assembly last year, but failed to make it out of the Senate. While the Senate approved 9 of the 10 points last year, the lawmakers opposed the last point of the plan dealing with abortion rights, saying it would lead to “abortion expansion.”


“For Jack Martins to deny equality to the women of New York in this day and age because he does not believe in a woman's right to choose is simply unacceptable,” Haber said.


Martins’ spokesman, Chris Schneider, said in an email that “as a husband and father of four daughters, Senator Martins has voted for, and continues to support, equal pay for women, expanded protections for domestic violence victims, stronger safeguards to protect women from

discrimination and sexual harassment, and tougher human trafficking laws.”


Schneider said Martins “believes these important initiatives should be considered individually on their own merits,” rather than voting on all 10 points of the Act at once.

“Haber is a hypocrite,” Schneider said. “He pays lip service to these measures but would hold them hostage to expand late term/partial birth abortions and allow abortions performed by non-doctors. He's clearly out of touch."

Schneider said Martins supported an approach pushed by Sen. Amy Paulin (D-Westchester) who has said parts of the plan should be voted on separately, including a bill introduced by Paulin that would cover one of the act's key points by enacting tougher penalties against sex traffickers.


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