The Nevada state capitol building in Carson City.
Nevada may become the 36th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.
On March 1, the Nevada State Senate passed the ERA resolution and on Monday the amendment passed in the State Assembly, 28-14. The resolution needs to go back to the Senate because a technical amendment was added, though this shouldn’t stop it from passing, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal. Though the amendment does not need to be approved by Republican Governor Brian Sandoval, Sandoval said he was in favor of it passing.
“It’s a big day to see this happen. A lot of us have waited a very long time,” Marlene Lockhard, a lobbyist with the Nevada Women’s Lobby, told the Reno Gazette-Journal.
Nevada State Sen. Pat Spearman (D) added that she felt triumphant after years of attempting to get the ERA ratified. “We did it. It was overwhelming, but we did it. It shows that it’s never too late to support equality,” she told the Los Angeles Times.
Besides the fact that the ERA is important in its own right for each state, Nevada’s ratification is especially significant because it’s the first state to do so since Indiana in 1977.
On March 22, 1972, Congress passed the Equal Rights Amendment but not enough states ratified the amendment for it to become part of the Constitution. For an amendment to become part of the Constitution, 38 of the 50 states need to ratify it. Nevada would bring us to 36 states, which means the U.S. only needs two more states to ratify the ERA for it to become part of the Constitution. If two more states were to ratify the ERA at this point, Congress would need to extend or waive the 1982 deadline it originally set.
“Now it’s a two-state strategy,” Terry O-Neill, the President of the National Organization of women (NOW), told the LA Times. “It’s very exciting. Over the past five years, Illinois and Virginia have come close. I think there is clear interest in this.”
According to Nevada Appeal, Republican Assemblywoman Robin Titus was opposed to the ratification. “I don’t believe my constituents sent me to cast symbolic votes with no chance of success,” she said.
Maggie Carlton, a Democratic Assemblywoman, had the perfect response to Titus as she argued for the resolution. “I vote for this for today in honor of my mother, my grandmother and my two daughters,” Carlton said, according to the LA Times. “Symbolism or not, it’s time to send the message.”
The state Senate is set to vote on the amendment on March 22, the 45th anniversary of the ERA passing in Congress.
By Alanna Vagianos. 03/21/2017 01:14 pm ET.
Mods: Is it possible to include the "gender equality" or "equal rights amendment" tags please?