Question 1 would put equal rights into Nevada Constitution

By: - September 29, 2022 5:30 am

Some of the thousands of female protestors, some holding placards, during a march in support of Equal Rights Amendment No 27 to the US Constitution, on the 57th anniversary of women’s suffrage, in New York City, New York, 26th August 1976. (Photo by Peter Keegan/Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Nevadans will vote on codifying equal rights in the state constitution this November through Question 1, which will guarantee that people can not be discriminated against based on “race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, ancestry, or national origin.”

The constitutional amendment originated as Senate Joint Resolution 8 during the 2019 session, where it received bipartisan support, and was passed a second time during the 2021 session. If approved by voters in the general election, it will become law.

While there are federal and state laws protecting equal rights, proponents say Question 1 will fill in existing gaps for more legal protections, including against unequal pay for women and pregnancy discrimination. Proponents add the amendment will provide Nevadan courts and lawmakers clear guidance to protect against discrimination.

The federal Equal Rights Amendment, which centered around gender equality, passed in 1972 and was sent to the states for ratification. Three-fourths of the states, including Nevada, failed to ratify by the 1982 deadline.

In 2017, the Nevada Legislature ratified the federal ERA, and was soon followed by enough states who hadn’t already ratified it in the 1970s to meet the three-fourths requirement. But a federal judge ruled that it was too late for the amendment to be added to the U.S. Constitution. The validity of the more recent ratifications is still being argued through several appeals.

Opponents of Question 1 say the amendment fails to protect the “religious liberties of individuals who hold traditional views on marriage and gender and want to live according to those values” and could be used as legal justification for taxpayer-funded abortions in the state.

Nevada law guarantees the right to an abortion.

The ballot question defines “creed” to include all religious beliefs, and also adds protections from religious discrimination.

Proponents of the amendment say it does “not diminish the rights of some people at the expense of others but, instead, will advance equality for all by filling the gaps in existing protections.”

 

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Camalot Todd
Camalot Todd

An award-winning, investigative and enterprise reporter, Camalot Todd has over seven years experience in print, digital, radio and TV journalism. She covered mental and behavioral health in New York for Spectrum News 1 Buffalo through the national service program, Report For America, where she won the Mental Health Advocates of WNY Advocacy Award in 2020 for her coverage on mental health stigma. She also served as an inaugural member of the Report For America Corps Advisory Board Member, 2021-2022. Previously, she reported on community issues in Las Vegas, including a long-term project on underage sex trafficking, for the Las Vegas Sun and its sister publication, Las Vegas Weekly. For the Sun, she wrote a pathbreaking investigative piece called, “Children on the Cusp: The transition from foster care to adulthood is leaving some behind.” The piece won the Nevada Press Association best investigative story of the year and named Camalot the Best Community Reporter of 2017. She also worked as a reporter for KUNV radio and is a graduate of University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Camalot was selected for National Press Foundation Opioid and Addiction Fellow 2021 and led the Syracuse Press Club's Journalism Lab as an educator from 2021-2022.

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