Nevada lawmakers are ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment exactly 45 years after Congress first submitted it to the states.

State senators gave final approval Wednesday for Nevada to sign on to the effort set in motion by women's suffragists.

The move brings the nation two states shy - but decades past deadline - of amending the U.S. Constitution to plainly state women and men are equal under the law.

Opponents argue it could disrupt family and military culture, and possibly lead to unfettered abortion access and funding.

The amendment required approval from 38 states to take effect.

Thirty-five states ratified it by 1977.

No others joined in by a 1982 cutoff date.

Nine state legislatures later reconsidered the amendment.

Nevada is the first to approve it after the deadline. (AP)

U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) today issued the following statement after the Nevada Legislature voted in favor of ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), becoming the 36th state to do so.
“Today is a historic – albeit long overdue – day in Nevada’s history, as we officially ratify the equal treatment of women under the law. I commend and thank all those in Nevada who fought tirelessly to get this amendment ratified – not only our state legislators, but advocates and community leaders who did not stop working to get this done.
“Nevada today reminded us of the bittersweet progress when it comes to gender equality – how far women have come and still how far we have to go in the fight for equal rights. It is unfortunate that 45 years after Congress passed the ERA, the country has yet to officially provide Constitutional equal rights to women, yet I hope that Nevada’s success today provides inspiration to women across the country to continue fighting for women’s rights and equality.”


Nevada State Democratic Party First Vice Chair Marty McGarry issued the following statement applauding the vote:

“The ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment in Nevada is a milestone moment for women’s rights in our state and across the country. On behalf of Nevada Democrats, I want to commend Senator Pat Spearman for her unwavering commitment to full gender equality and her single-minded commitment to getting this passed. This wouldn’t have been possible without the dedication and advocacy of grassroots activists like our longtime office manager Naomi Millisor, who fought tirelessly for the ERA for decades and sadly did not live long enough to witness this historic victory. Whether it’s ensuring paycheck fairness or defending health care access, today is a reminder that the Democratic Party will always stand up for the full and equal rights of Nevada women."