With Question 1, Nevada passes most inclusive states equal rights amendment in nation

By: - November 10, 2022 1:27 pm

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 said “yes” to codifying equal rights in the state constitution, unofficial election results show.

Question 1 asked voters to add to the state constitution language 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.”

That makes it the most inclusive of all state-level Equal Rights Amendments, say advocates.

No other state has explicitly prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, according to Nnedi Stephens, the campaign manager for Nevadans for Equal Rights, which advocated for Question 1.

“Passing the most inclusive state ERA amendment in the country uplifts Nevada as a beacon of light and a model for fighting back against hatred and bigotry in all of its forms,” they added in a statement.

Statewide, 57% of voters supported the measure and 43% opposed, as of Thursday afternoon. Urban counties carried the ballot question to success with double digit margins, while Nevada’s rural counties voted heavily against the measure.

Clark and Washoe counties voted overwhelmingly in favor of the ballot question. Rural Republicans in nearly every other county in the state voted against it. Nearly three-fourths of voters in Lincoln and Eureka counties opposed adding the equal rights amendment to the state constitution.

The constitutional amendment originated as Senate Joint Resolution 8 during the 2019 Legislative Session, where it received bipartisan support, and was passed a second time during the 2021 session.

While there are federal and state laws protecting equal rights, advocates say Question 1 will fill in existing gaps for more legal protections, including against unequal pay for women and pregnancy discrimination. 

Opponents argued that the amendment failed 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 set a legal justification for taxpayer-funded abortions in the state.

Nevada law guarantees the right to an abortion, But the Hyde Amendement prevents federal funds to be used for elective abortions and while states can use funds to offset the costs for abortions, Nevada isn’t one.

April Corbin Girnus contributed to this report.

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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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