Delaware Public Media

Delaware ERA Amendment secures full General Assembly approval for first time

Jun 7, 2018

The Delaware House passed a state Equal Rights Amendment a day after it was amended and approved by the state Senate.

This is the first time in the First State’s history a Delaware ERA Amendment has passed both chambers of the General Assembly.

State senators added a clarification to the intent of the legislation to assuage the concerns of conservative members around abortion, private sector wages and services offered to just one sex.

House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst praised Republican Sen. Anthony Delcollo for his work in securing a compromise.

“Sen. Delcollo was a very big part of that," she said. "So, I want to thank him if he’s not in the chamber or if he’s listening, Sen. Delcollo you did a great job.”

Delaware lawmakers have tried to pass a state ERA Amendment since 1984. The state ratified the federal ERA Amendment in the 1970’s. But it failed to get enough states to ratify it.

The General Assembly must pass the state ERA in both chambers again in a new legislative session next year to change the Delaware Constitution. The amendment would bar discrimination based on sex.