For Legislators and Interested Others, here are answers to most of your questions about ERA

The body of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) reads: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”

It is not about abortion or same-sex anything. The Equal Rights Amendment purely reflects the fundamental moral American value of equality for all regardless of gender.

National and Congressional legal teams, working with Equal Rights Alliance in Florida, have determined that effects of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) would not upset the economic, legal, religious, moral or social balance of the nation. It would enhance human relations, improve the economy and simplify the work of the courts.

Generally, the ERA:

  • Is beneficial to the public and the economy, and was never declared “dead” (See 1921 Supreme Court decisions Dillon v. Gloss and its 1939 decision in Coleman v. Miller, and its Oct. 4, 1982 refusal to declare ERA dead). Many substantive legal arguments support opinion that ERA continues to be “viable and contemporaneous”. The ERA has already been vetted and voted for in nearly 75% of the United States. Several states, including Florida and Arkansas, have filed ratification bills. It is the responsibility of the legislatures to vote only on the words of the ERA as voted out by Congress in 1972.
  • Is not a special entitlement, a hoax, or a conspiracy. It is not scandalous and outweighs any “unintended consequences” imagined by any special interest group. The fact is that the ERA is Win-Win for all.
  • Is still “viable and contemporaneous” based on past precedent and lack of rescissions.
  • Embodies the only secure guarantee of equal treatment for both sexes. Neither the 14th Amendment nor current laws reliably ensure that basic American precept.
  • Is a bill whose wording has never and can never be amended or changed in any way since Congress sent it to the states for ratification by their legislatures. You would co-sponsor and vote for the same wording that you see now at the top of this page.
  • Acts only to buttress laws, ordinances, statutes, and amendments in state constitutions that are overlooked, ignored, or misinterpreted now (Equal Pay Act, 1963). ERA does not make new law.
  • Costs the state of Virginia nothing, and would give Virginia an image of a progressive state, with justice for all, and full of business opportunities.
  • Positively impacts Virginia’s bottom line as tax revenues should increase while public assistance and court costs decrease, while requiring no funding—one of the few such bills.
  • Does not affect reasonable distinctions related to sex based or sensible concerns for hygiene, safety, or modesty in schools, prisons, hospitals, or private clubs, etc.
  • Despite special interest nay sayers, the ERA does not regulate: (1) same-sex anything, (2) abortion, nor payment for such services, (3) women in combat or in the draft, (4) unisex restrooms, (5) Social Security payments, nor (6) men’s sports. Despite claims by special interest groups, ERA language is purely neutral on any intent other than equality for all regardless of gender. The 22 states, which have existing ERA language in their constitutions, have not seen an explosion of abortions. In fact, these states report statistically fewer abortion procedures than those states that do not have a state ERA.
  • Has been codified in every other nation’s charter or constitution since WWII (Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg). If our brave military women serve, they deserve to be named in the U.S. Constitution, as are men. Both men and women are deprived of sex discrimination protections in the U.S. Constitution. It is the nation’s contract with its people. If you are not named, you are not a party to that contract. Until ERA is passed, the only incontestable right of American women is the right to vote. They had to get that for themselves over decades.
  • Provides relief to women and men who have to pay to petition courts over and over again for rights to which the other sex is already entitled. No one should have to go to court repeatedly to claim what should be their birth right. Taxpayers and the courts are relieved of the burden of large numbers of court cases and repeated costs.
  • Promotes court reviews of sex discrimination cases using Strict Scrutiny, just as is now the case with race, religion and national origin, rather than the current Intermediate Scrutiny. This enhances the courts’ effectiveness as well as the dispensation of justice. Both sexes would be treated equally, as fully responsible human beings with self-determination.
  • Fulfills wishes by the courts for clarification and direction by a reliable basis of review for sex discrimination cases. (Supreme Court Justices Scalia and Ginsburg)
  • Has a markedly positive sociological effect wherever sexual equality is the standard. Studies show that: (1) rates of emotional depression decline, (2) divorce rates decline, families stabilize, (3) marital harmony increases, (4) communities gain cohesiveness, (5) economies grow (UN; Norway/ Sweden report).
  • ERA would equalize justice for both genders. Although females experience sex discrimination/harassment more often and more egregiously, men experience it, too. Men filed more cases with EEOC last year. Frequent unjust child custody and support awards before traditional courts, consensual teen sex adjudications, male name changing, the draft, child immigration and other inequities point to a male’s need for an ERA, too. As the ERA benefits men and women, it also promotes Family Values.
  • Had strong support in a public survey taken in the United States by the Opinion Research Corporation for the ERA Campaign Network. It found that 96% of all respondents said everyone should have equal rights in this country.

**And, unlike other bills to cross your desk, NO FUNDING IS REQUIRED for ratifying ERA. Needed more than ever, ERA just makes good sense, don’t you think?

Wouldn’t it be wise to embrace the benefits of a ratified Equal Rights Amendment, and cease holding nearly three-quarters of the States hostage? The previous thirty- five state ratifications are still constitutionally viable. In fact, the State of North Dakota has recently RE-ratified to show determination for equality. By ratifying the ERA, you could make history and gain the applause of voters. Besides, ISN’T IT PATRIOTIC TO VOTE FOR EQUALITY? ISN’T EQUALITY A DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLE?