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Working for an ERA to Maine's state constitution 

In the absence of a federal Equal Rights Amendment, many states have chosen to add ERAs to their state constitutions in order to guarantee full equality for all citizens. Twenty-six states, in fact, have taken such action. Most recently, on November 8, 2022, 58% of voters in the State of Nevada chose to add a state ERA to their state constitution. Its language is the most inclusive equality language in any state constitution. It reads,


"Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by this State or any of its political subdivisions on account of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, ancestry or national origin."

-Nevada’s ballot question on November 8, 2022.


Maine has begun the process of amending its state constitution to protect all Mainers from sex discrimination. In the 2019-20 legislative session, LD433 was a “RESOLUTION, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine To Explicitly Prohibit Discrimination Based on the Sex of an Individual.” 

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In 2019 Governor Janet Mills addressed the Judiciary Committee in support of the state ERA.

Maine Human Rights Commission

The Maine Human Rights Commission covers 

Employment

Housing

Public Accommodation

Education

Credit

It does NOT cover

Domestic Violence

Violence Against Women

Insurance/Pension Discrimination

Incarceration of Women

The Maine Human Rights Commission is responsible for handling sex discrimination cases in Maine, according to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The MHRC has a mandate from the legislature to include certain areas of sex discrimination, but not all. Violence against Women claims, including sexual assault and domestic violence are not included; nor are the increasingly urgent issues of female incarceration, women's pensions, and insurance discrimination. A state ERA would broaden the mandate for the MHRC to more fully do its job.

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