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Nevada is the First State to Enact These Major Protections for LGBTQ Citizens

NORTH LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - OCTOBER 20: A Clark County election worker scans mail-in ballots at the Clark County Election Department on October 20, 2020 in North Las Vegas, Nevada. In-person early voting for the general election in the battleground state began on October 17 and continues through October 30. Earlier this year, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak signed a bill mandating that all registered voters in the state receive a mail-in ballot for the first time to help keep people safe from the coronavirus (COVID-19). (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Some nationwide firsts happened during the 2022 midterm elections. According to the New York Times, this election has given us “the first Generation Z member of Congress. The nation’s first openly lesbian governor. The first Black governor of Maryland.” It has also given us the opportunity to see in Nevada what is being called (per the AP) “the most comprehensive state version of the Equal Rights Amendment.”

Nevada’s state ERA would amend its Constitution to ensure equal rights for all, “regardless of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, ancestry, or national origin.” Since our federal ERA is stuck without ratification, this will be the only state with this kind of protection on the books. Especially for the trans and non-binary communities.

There are different versions of the Equal Rights Amendment in the states that have adopted it. It technically has passed the threshold to be adopted federally, but because Nebraska, Tennessee, Idaho, Kentucky, and South Dakota removed their prior approval, it was not ratified. Even though it has been a part of American politics since 1923.

Nevada could become the 27th state to adopt its state version of the ERA with specific language to combat gender-based discrimination.

Proponents of Nevada’s ERA say that it would provide new tools to challenge discrimination and close loopholes where those rights are not necessarily guaranteed. Nevada state Sen. Pat Spearman, one of the sponsors, cited age protections for older workers laid off during the pandemic and transgender people having their identity protected as tangible differences under the amendment. Other proponents said that enshrining the ERA’s protections in the Nevada Constitution holds more weight and would be tougher to overturn than if they were in state law or left up to existing state and federal protections.

Right now, the Times is reporting 77% of the vote is in and so far it looks like it may pass if it continues with the numbers it is trending with. Mostly because of Las Vegas. The chart notes that in 2020 it took three days to get 90% of the vote in so this is certainly one to watch.

(via NYT, image: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

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Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.