Nevada voters weigh state version of Equal Rights Amendment

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Nevada voters weigh state version of Equal Rights Amendment

Question 1 would amend Nevada’s Constitution to ensure equal rights for all, “regardless of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, ancestry, or national origin,” a more wide-ranging amendment than the federal ERA that Nevada adopted in 2017, which outlaws discrimination based on sex, though the push to ratify it in the U.S. Constitution remains gridlocked.

In the contentious debate over whose rights should be protected, those for and against the amendment agree: if passed, Nevada would have the most expansive Equal Rights Amendment of the 26 states to adopt their own ERA.

Congress has long held that existing law already protects for gender equity and that federal and state constitutional and statutory provisions prohibit discrimination for the same identities. Proponents of Nevada’s ERA say that it would provide new tools to challenge discrimination and close loopholes where those rights are not necessarily guaranteed. Nevada Sen. Pat Spearman, one of the sponsors, cited age protections for older workers laid off in the pandemic and transgender people having their identity protected as tangible differences under the amendment.

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