The Equal Rights Amendment

On January 21, 2023, a cold and snowy day, members of LAD and other Longmont residents participated in the Bigger Than Roe Rally at 6th & Main in Longmont.

We put together some notes from, research for, and a resource document was prepared for that event. Included below is information from that resource document, with links and action items throughout.

REMARKS: “I wanted to thank everyone for coming out today. Last May, Alito’s draft was leaked, and by June 24, the awful day came: Roeverturn. But how many of you know that weeks before the leak, March 3rd, to be exact, state legislators, here in Colorado, introduced HB22-1279, the Reproductive Health Equity Act? Simply put, the bill says, “codification of a person’s fundamental right to make reproductive health-care decisions free from government interference.” I put together a resource document, with a link to the General Assembly website, so you can see the details of this remarkable bill. By April 4, Governor Polis had signed the Reproductive Health Equity Act into law. Trust me, the law covers a lot, but the sponsors of that bill, State Reps Meg Froelich, Daneya Esgar, and State Senator Julie Gonzales, said in their remarks on the floor: “there is more work to be done.” More work to be done. We have legislators here today, who will speak to that.”

Local Legislator Contact Info — 

State Rep. Karen McCormick: karen.mccormick.house@coleg.gov

State Senator Janice Marchman: janice.marchman.senate@coleg.gov

State Rep. Jennifer Parenti: jennifer.parenti.house@coleg.gov

 

That’s what can happen on the state level. But what about on the Federal Level? Roe might be 50 years old this weekend, but the fight for the ERA has been waged for 100 years, having been introduced before every session of Congress since 1923…

EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT: We can make it happen NOW!

“Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”

Virginia was the 38th state to ratify the ERA in 2020 (38 is three-fourths of the states, which was required. Colorado ratified the ERA in 1972. See where the rest of the states stand, here ). The US House in 2021 (when we were in the majority) DID pass the removal of the 1982 deadline. The US Senate now has to do so as well. The other option is to “begin anew” following the traditional legislative process using the Constitution’s Article V ratification process.

 

The fight for the ERA is over 100 years old. It was ramping up in the early 1970s, with enormous popularity (90% of US House AND US Senate approving it at the time), state after state, swiftly ratifying it. THEN in 1972, right when 28 of the 38 states required had ratified the ERA, the opposition, led by arch conservative Phyllis Schlafly, took control. And the ERA failed in 1980, falling 3 states short of getting enough states to ratify it.

 

Did you know?: there are Constitutional scholars, including Laurence Tribe, that believe the ERA, with Virginia ratifying it in 2020, is IN FACT ratified, end of story! The Constitutional Archivist simply has to sign it. The previous archivist, David S. Ferriero (who has since retired), said that it “wasn’t in his purview” that he needed a court order to be given the authority to sign it. But according to some experts, that’s simply not true. Biden appointed a new Archivist Debra Steidel Hall in May of 2022.

 

In a conversation with US Rep. Jamie Raskin, Kate Kelly, the author of the book, “Ordinary Equality” (also a podcast), said that what is needed now (and again!) is OVERWHELMING PUBLIC SUPPORT. President Biden, a year ago, said this, “Today, as the House announces a resolution on the Equal Rights Amendment, I once again want to express my support for the ERA loudly and clearly. I have been a strong supporter of the ERA ever since I first ran for the Senate as a 29-year-old. We must recognize the clear will of the American people and definitively enshrine the principle of gender equality in the Constitution…” Read the full statement, here.

TAKE ACTION —
1. RESEARCH the history of the ERA, and share what you know with others!
2. CONTACT SENATORS BENNET & HICKENLOOPER, urging them to frontburner, and support the ERA as the 28th Amendment, NOW! If you talk to a Senate aide, ask where the Senator stands on ERA. Then ask WHAT is the Senator prepared to DO? Ask for a public statement in support of the ERA. And if it doesn’t happen, call again.

SENATOR MICHAEL BENNET: 202-224-5852 (DC)

303-455-7600 (Denver). Website, here.

SENATOR JOHN HICKENLOOPER: 202-224-5941 (DC)

303-244-1628 (Denver). Website, here.

OR USE RESISTBOT: text “resist” to 50409

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3. SIGN THESE PETITIONS:

ERA Coalition: Ask the White House to direct the U.S. Archivist to publish the ERA

Action Network: Ratify the Equal Rights Amendment Now!

MoveOn: Pass the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)

Change.org: Ratify the Equal Rights Amendment


MORE ERA links and resources:

equalrightsamendment.org
eracoalition.org
equalitynow.org
National Organization of Women (NOW), now.org

ERA Social Media toolkit, from NOW, here.

ERA Ratification by state, here.
Three State and Begin Anew Strategies, here.

Ordinary Equality by Kate Kelly: on goodreads, here.

Ordinary Equality podcast, here.

Generation Ratify: The Young People’s Feminist Movement, website, here.

Equal Means Equal, 2016 documentary, available on Prime video.

The Time is Now, March 2022, Champions of Equality Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the ERAs Passage in Congress:

On the 50th anniversary of Congress passing the Equal Rights Amendment, the ERA Coalition held a virtual event to honor those who have dedicated their lives to fighting for equality for all. “The Time is Now” honored Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (NY-12), Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA-14)[both now retired from Congress. Maloney is now President of NOW], ERA Coalition / Fund for Women’s Equality President and CEO Carol Jenkins, and posthumously former Indiana Senator Birch Bayh.