Minnesota House approves measure for Equal Rights Amendment

By: News Director Larissa Donovan

ST. PAUL– The Minnesota house voted 72 to 55 last week to allow a referendum on the 2020 ballot for an equal rights amendment to the Minnesota constitution. Democratic representative John Persell of Bemidji said the vote for yes on “guaranteed gender equality” was a “no-brainer” for him.

Representative John Persell, District 5A (photo courtesy of the Minnesota Legislature)

“Women [have been] serving in our military, in the combat zones, since the Revolutionary War…. since before our country was a country,” said Persell. “And they’ve been there. Why deny them the equal rights that they deserve?”

Opponents of the bill said the constitutional amendment has been used in other states to rule pro-life laws unconstitutional. Republican representative Matt Grossell of Clearbrook voted no on the bill, and did not return calls for comment.

Representative Matt Grossell, District 2A (photo courtesy of the Minnesota Legislature)

The bill is now moving through the state Senate. If approved there, the bill would move to Governor Tim Walz for approval, before finally being put to the vote by Minnesotans during the 2020 General Election.


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers events and issues in north central Minnesota, which include local government, crime, courts, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University and received her degree in 2018. Larissa, native to the great state of New York, grew up in Bemidji, and enjoys spending her spare time with her family and pet cat. She also loves Star Trek, punk rock music and the theater.


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