Minnesotans pack Capitol rotunda to oppose ‘deceptive’ Equal Rights Amendment


A huge crowd of Minnesotans packed the Capitol rotunda Wednesday to voice their opposition to the proposed constitutional amendment. (Alpha News)

Minnesotans, religious leaders, policy advocates, and legislators held a rally at the Minnesota State Capitol on Wednesday to voice their opposition to the so-called “Equal Rights Amendment” (ERA).

A major priority for Democrats this session, the proposed ERA contains no protections for religious liberty, would further gut the freedom of association, and would enshrine unlimited abortion in the Minnesota Constitution, opponents said at Wednesday’s rally and during a press conference beforehand.

Dubbed the “Erosion of Rights Amendment” by its opponents, the ERA will likely be voted on by the Minnesota Legislature in the coming days. If approved by both the Minnesota Senate and the Minnesota House of Representatives, the amendment would be placed on the 2026 ballot to be voted on by Minnesota citizens.

Should voters decide to approve the amendment, the following text would be placed in the Constitution of the State of Minnesota:

“All persons shall be guaranteed equal rights under the laws of this state. The
state shall not discriminate against any person in intent or effect on account of one or more of the following: (a) race; (b) color; (c) national origin; (d) ancestry; (e) disability; or (f) sex, including but not limited to: (i) making and effectuating decisions about all matters relating to one’s own pregnancy or decision whether to become or remain pregnant; (ii) gender identity or gender expression; or (iii) sexual orientation.”

In a packed Capitol rotunda, opponents of the ERA talked about the many dangers that are posed by the amendment. One of their major arguments is that there is no reference to “religion” or “creed” in the proposed amendment. As such, religious liberties could be forced to take a backseat to other interests should the amendment be placed in the constitution.

House Minority Leader Lisa Demuth and a group of Republican legislators speaks to the gathered crowd Wednesday. (Alpha News)

Additionally, opponents criticized the ERA as deceptive and misleading. While the previous text is the language that would be placed in the Minnesota Constitution, the below text is the question voters would be asked to vote on in 2026:

“Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to say that all persons shall be guaranteed equal rights under the laws of this state, and shall not be discriminated against on account of race, color, national origin, ancestry, disability, or sex, including pregnancy, gender, and sexual orientation?”

Given that Minnesota citizens would vote on language different than the language eventually placed in the constitution, many have said the amendment is outright deceptive. In particular, opponents have said that the ERA seeks to deceive voters on the subject of abortion.

The ERA ballot question that would be submitted to voters does not state in plain language that approval of the ERA would enshrine what opponents described as “unlimited abortion” in the state’s constitution. Despite having the aforementioned effect, the ERA contains no mention of the word “abortion.”

Instead, the language that would be placed in the Minnesota Constitution references “all matters relating to one’s own pregnancy or decision whether to become or remain pregnant.”

Meanwhile, the ballot question voters would see only references the word “pregnancy.”

As such, voters reading the ballot question on Election Day may have no idea that the question before them would enshrine abortion in the Minnesota Constitution.

House Minority Leader Lisa Demuth, R-Cold Spring, addressed the gathered crowd at the Wednesday rally, saying, “The vague reference to ‘pregnancy’ on the ballot question is misleading, it is opaque, it is not transparent, and it would leave voters uninformed about the true implications of the amendment. They are hiding that, and couching it, and they are trying to hide what is actually being proposed.

“People deserve to know what they are voting on, and the way that the ballot question is written is deceptive and it does not tell the story of how expansive that provision in the new language would possibly be,” added the Republican House leader.

Additionally, opponents of the ERA say that approval of the amendment would effectively eliminate women-only spaces and women’s sports in Minnesota.

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Luke Sprinkel

Luke Sprinkel previously worked as a Legislative Assistant at the Minnesota House of Representatives. He grew up as a Missionary Kid (MK) living in England, Thailand, Tanzania, and the Middle East. Luke graduated from Regent University in 2018.





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