Gender Justice celebrates House vote passing historic Minnesota Equal Rights Amendment

May 19, 2024

Noah Parrish, Communications Director
[email protected]

Constitutional amendment for the 2026 ballot guaranteeing strong protections for gender, reproductive freedom and equality for all now heads to the Senate Floor

Saint Paul, Minn.—

The Minnesota House of Representatives today passed one of the strongest Equal Rights Amendments in the U.S., clearing the way for a Senate vote to put the Minnesota Equal Rights Amendment on the ballot to be ratified by the people of Minnesota in the 2026 election.

The proposal would allow Minnesotans to vote via statewide ballot on an amendment to the Minnesota Constitution that would guarantee equality under the law for all. If passed, it would be one of the most inclusive amendments of its kind in the United States, including strong protections against discrimination based on race, color, national origin, ancestry, disability, or sex — including all matters of pregnancy, gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.

“In Minnesota, we value freedom and fairness. We applaud the House’s action to pass the Equal Rights Amendment that clearly protects gender equality and reproductive freedom, no matter who is sitting in the Governor’s office, state legislature, or the courts,” said Megan Peterson, executive director at Gender Justice. “We are ready for the Senate to bring the amendment over the finish line to ensure Minnesotans have the chance to make their voices heard and enshrine equality for all in our state’s constitution.”

There is a pressing need to advance this amendment. In 2023 alone, lawmakers across the country introduced over 1,400 bills attacking reproductive freedom and transgender rights. Model legislation moving across states attempts to limit everything from abortion rights and health care for transgender patients to drag shows. Major employers are still violating the rights of nursing mothers. Attacks on the rights of people from other countries, cultures, and backgrounds are widespread and increasing.

When given the chance, Minnesotans have a track record of voting strongly in favor of equality for all. In 2012, Minnesota became the first state in the nation to reject a constitutional amendment that would limit the freedom to marry, paving the way for LGBTQ marriage equality. After the fall of Roe v. Wade, Minnesota voted its first-ever pro-reproductive-freedom majorities into the state legislature.

Minnesota has the opportunity to continue this legacy through a constitutional amendment that is long overdue: The first national Equal Rights Amendment was introduced in 1923, was almost adopted in the 1970s, and is now advancing at the state level with new urgency.

The Minnesota ERA bill must pass the Legislature this year to be placed on a statewide ballot. A majority of Minnesota voters must vote in favor of the amendment for it to pass.


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