Minnesota Reformer: Some religious leaders say Equal Rights Amendment infringes on their rights

A proposed constitutional amendment that would protect Minnesotans from discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, disability, or sex is moving closer to the ballot as it advances through the Legislature.

The proposal, known as the Equal Rights Amendment or ERA, passed the House Rules and Legislative Administration Committee Monday and could come to a vote on the House floor in the coming days.

If the Legislature passes the ERA*, the amendment would go to a statewide vote in 2026.

Religious leaders are fighting the proposed amendment at the Capitol and are prepared to take the campaign to voters if necessary. 

“We have a number of problems with it on a number of levels,” said Jason Adkins, executive director of the Minnesota Catholic Conference, standing behind a “STOP ERA” sign in a press conference Wednesday.

The current language does not include religion as a protected category — though religion is already protected in the Minnesota Constitution’s Bill of Rights — and some groups view the amendments’ protection of abortion rights and LGBTQ individuals as infringing on their religious freedom.

The amendment (SF37) defines “sex” as including gender identity and expression, sexual orientation and pregnancy — including one’s decision to become pregnant or terminate a pregnancy.


Adkins said the Minnesota Catholic Conference — the policy arm of the Catholic Church in Minnesota — opposes the ERA as currently written, but if it continues to move forward, religion should be added to the list of protected classes. 


Read the full story at Minnesota Reformer.

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