Delaware equal rights amendment gets final approval

Delaware legislators spoke in support of the Equal Rights Amendment during a rally in Dover. (Zoe Read/WHYY)

Delaware legislators spoke in support of the Equal Rights Amendment during a rally in Dover. (Zoe Read/WHYY)

A proposed amendment to Delaware’s constitution guaranteeing equal rights based on sex has won final legislative approval.

Senators voted 16-to-5 Wednesday for the measure, which passed the House 35-to-6 last week.

The legislation, considered by some to be symbolic, was introduced and approved last year but required passage in consecutive General Assemblies.

The bill initially failed to win Senate approval last year amid Republican concerns about possible hidden motives, such as guaranteeing taxpayer funding for abortions or granting special rights to transgender people.

The legislation was revised to clarify its intent and to note that it applies only to the state and its political subdivisions, not private entities. The clarifying language also notes that a declaration of rights does not require the state to fund the exercise of those rights.

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