The Humane Party chose to separate the remainder of the abolition process into two different Constitutional amendments—namely, the APE Amendment and the Abolition Amendment—in order to accomplish the ultimate goal—abolition—as fast as possible.
Specifically, the APE Amendment breaks, for the first time in U.S. history, the species barrier to legal standing (often called “rights” or “personhood”). This speciesist barrier is formidable: it has endured for thousands of years in all human cultures all around the world. By being limited in scope to those species to which humans are most recently related, the APE Amendment is optimized to break this psychological and philosophical barrier immediately. This amendment represents the very cutting edge of the modern abolitionist movement.
Once the species barrier has been overcome through the APE Amendment, the road to emancipation of all other animals by way of the Abolition Amendment will be clear.
Thus, in the Humane Party’s estimation, the two-step process described above will produce the desired result—abolition of slavery for all species—faster than would a single-step process.
The American Primate Emancipation Amendment—or simply the “APE” Amendment, for short—is a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The effect of the APE Amendment is to:
abolish slavery with respect to all primates in the United States of America
recognize habeas corpus mechanism for protecting the rights of all primates
recognize guardian ad litem mechanism for protecting the rights of all primates
eliminate the 13th Amendment’s exception for criminal cases
The text of the APE Amendment is modeled on that of the 13th Amendment. After years of development by the Humane Party legal team, versions of the APE Amendment text were subjected to three separate periods for public comment during 2015. After all public comments had been reviewed and final revisions made, the final version of the APE Amendment was signed into its current form by Clifton Roberts, then serving as Chief Executive Officer of the Humane Party, on October 19, 2015.
The final text of the APE Amendment was published on the first annual American Abolition Day, December 6, 2015.
The full text of the American Primate Emancipation Amendment reads as follows:
Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude of any primate shall exist within the United States or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Section 2. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall be available to ensure the rights of all primates.
Section 3. Every primate who does not have a guardian shall be provided a guardian ad litem when necessary to protect the primate’s rights.
Section 4. Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.