84°F
weather icon Clear

Nevada Assembly approves Equal Rights Amendment

Updated March 20, 2017 - 5:20 pm

CARSON CITY — The Assembly on Monday voted to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, making Nevada the first state in 40 years to support the addition of the language to the U.S. Constitution.

The vote was 28 to 14, with all 27 Democrats and one Republican lawmaker in support.

Senate Joint Resolution 2 requires concurrence in the Senate on a couple of minor amendments before it is transmitted to the Nevada Secretary of State, leaders in Congress and to the archivist of the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, DC. Approval later this week will be routine, as the Senate passed the measure before the amendments on a 13-8 vote.

“Today what we’re doing is one of our most awesome responsibilities,” said Assemblyman James Ohrenschall, D-Las Vegas. “We’re proposing to amend the federal constitution. It’s a historic moment for us.”

Supporters say the ERA is as relevant today as ever, and they want two more states to approve ratification so Congress can take up the issue. Nevada is the 36th state to approve the resolution. The last state to approve the amendment was Indiana, in 1977.

Opponents call the amendment symbolic. They argue that laws enacted over the past 35 years protect gender equality and said the amendment does not account for biological differences between men and women.

Critics also say the deadline for approval of the ERA expired in 1982. But supporters say Congress has the authority to determine if amendment is valid even though a deadline passes.

Assemblywoman Olivia Diaz, D-North Las Vegas, argued for support during the debate in the Assembly, saying women still don’t have equality, from less political representation to equal pay.

“That’s why we need the passage of this bill,” she said. “Because there are forces out there who want to stand in the way of progress.”

But Assemblywoman Robin Titus, R-Wellington, called the measure an example of “political theatrics” from Assembly Democrats. The role of women is settled in 2017, Titus added.

“I abhor any kind of discrimination,” she said.

Assemblyman Ira Hansen, R-Sparks, proposed an amendment to put the issue before the voters but it was rejected on a party-line vote.

While Gov. Brian Sandoval does not have to sign off on the resolution, he does support the proposal.

Several efforts to approve the ERA in Nevada in the 1970s and early 1980s all failed.

Contact Sean Whaley at swhaley@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-3820. Follow @seanw801 on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
'Evangelicals for Trump' event draws hundreds to Las Vegas hotel - VIDEO
Hundreds of President Donald Trump’s supporters packed the Ahern Hotel in Las Vegas for a faith-based campaign event. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sisolak names new DETR director, head of unemployment task force - VIDEO
Gov. Steve Sisolak named Elisa Cafferata acting director of Nevada’s Department of Training, Employment and Rehabilitation and announced Barbara Buckley as the leader of a rapid response team on unemployment insurance at a press briefing Thursday afternoon. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sisolak unveils long-term COVID-19 plan with Nevada Health Response team - VIDEO
Gov. Steve Sisolak announced Monday a long-term strategy for mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in Nevada through a targeted approach. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sisolak: Bars in four counties to stay closed - VIDEO
Gov. Steve Sisolak said bars in four counties, including Clark County, will remain closed to help fight COVID-19. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
COVID-19 case reported at Legislature's special session - Video
A person who was inside the Nevada Legislature Building has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, Legislative Counsel Bureau Director Brenda Erdoes said Friday, July 10. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trump Pushing for Reopening Schools and In-Person Learning - Video
Donald Trump launched an effort on Wednesday to reopen schools across the United States with in-person learning.
Special session to tackle $1.2B budget deficit in special session Wednesday - VIDEO
Closing the state’s $1.2 billion budget hole will be the prime focus of the upcoming special legislative session that will convene at 9 a.m. Wednesday in Carson City, according to a proclamation issued by Gov. Steve Sisolak. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Lawmakers to tackle $1.2B budget deficit in special session Wednesday - VIDEO
Closing the state’s $1.2 billion budget hole will be the prime focus of the upcoming special legislative session that will convene at 9 a.m. Wednesday in Carson City, according to a proclamation issued by Gov. Steve Sisolak. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Clark County Democratic leaders resign
Several key Clark County Democratic Party leaders have resigned as progressive leadership has swelled in recent months.
Dream Big Nevada celebrates DACA ruling - VIDEO
The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday rejected President Donald Trump’s effort to end legal protections under DACA for 650,000 young immigrants. Astrid Silva, founder of Dream Big Nevada, discusses the temporary victory and the next step for Dreamers.
Councilwoman Michele Fiore walks out of city council meeting - Video
Las Vegas Councilwoman Michele Fiore walks out of a City Council meeting during public comments.
Mitt Romney marches in Washington, D.C., protest - Video
On Sunday, Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah joined a group of protesters marching through Washington, D.C. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada gyms, bars that do not serve food can reopen Friday - VIDEO
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak on Tuesday evening said Phase 2 of the state’s Nevada United: Roadmap to Recovery will begin on Friday. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada Rep. Horsford admits to having affair - VIDEO
Nevada Congressman Steven Horsford admitted to having an affair with Gabriela Linder, a former intern for Sen. Harry Reid. Linder detailed her account of the affair in a podcast she called, "Mistress for Congress." (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
THE LATEST
Sisolak signs 2 police reform bills into law

Gov. Steve Sisolak on Friday signed two police reform bills from a special legislative session. Lawmakers addressed police reform after a wave of national protests.