Editorial Roundup: Minnesotans should be able to vote on ERA

Published 8:50 pm Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

If you are wondering why in this day and age an equal rights amendment would be necessary when so many legal protections already exist, consider this: Last week a state human rights investigation determined a Minnesota company violated a woman’s civil rights when it fired her after learning she was pregnant.

This is not a headline from 1921. This is modern-day news.

During the upcoming legislative session, advocates of an equal rights amendment to the Minnesota Constitution will be pushing in St. Paul for an update to the document.

Email newsletter signup

Minnesota lawmakers previously approved a resolution directing Congress to ratify the ERA to the U.S. Constitution, which has been stalled for a century.

So instead of continuing to wait on federal action, supporters in Minnesota are again pressing legislators to bring a revised state version before voters as soon as this fall. (The state Senate passed a version last year, but the House did not bring it to a vote.)

Voters should be able to weigh in on whether to adopt the amendment. In a time when access to abortion and gender care are quickly disappearing around the U.S., an amendment could include protections to those key health care areas as well as equal pay and other workplace rights. A majority of voters would have to support it for the amendment to take effect.

Rather than see laws struck down as the balance of power shifts, an amendment would be a stable way to preserve widespread protections.

Minnesota acts a beacon for a better quality of life than most states — and that high quality is meant for all residents. Letting voters weigh in on the equal rights amendment is a way for the public to decide how far protections should extend and in what form.

— The Free Press, Mankato, Jan. 22

About Editorial Roundup

Editorials from newspapers around the state of Minnesota.

email author More by Editorial