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.
“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.
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.