Legal Rationales for Ratifying the
EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT
For Legislators and Interested Others, here are answers to most of your questions about ERA--
Inquiries are received at SandyO@PassERA.org at Equal Rights Alliance, Inc. and ERA Education, Inc. ERA Inc. is the only organization in Florida with Leaders committed solely to Florida’s ratification. We hope that you will find this information helpful. Documentation available.
We are the nonpartisan, nonprofit, non-sexist, single-issue, all-inclusive Equal Rights Alliance, Inc., comprising more than 300,000 committed supporters; 300+ major organizations; all of Florida’s 67 County Commissions; 7 Florida newspapers; 112 ERA Action Teams; and 88% of the public by independent survey by the Princeton Research Corporation. There are usually 49 ERA bill co-sponsors. Equal Rights Alliance works for all people’s equal treatment, full personhood and rights to self-determination regardless of gender.
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 [sic: gender].”
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 have determined that effects of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) would not upset the economic, legal, religious, moral or social balance of the nation, but 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 “viable and contemporaneous”. (Ask us for copies.) ERA has already been vetted and voted for in 92% of the required states. Several states, including Florida, have filed ratification bills. Like those, it is the responsibility of the Florida legislature only to vote on the words of the ERA as voted out by Congress in 1972.
- Is not a special entitlement, is not a hoax, not a conspiracy, not scandalous, and outweighs any “unintended consequences” imagined by any special interest group. Fact is ERA is Win-Win for all.
- Is still “viable and contemporaneous” based on past precedent and lack of rescissions.
- Still embodies the only secure guarantee of equal treatment for both sexes. Neither the 14th Amendment, Florida’s constitutional amendment (left unsettled in 2001,2004) nor current laws reliably ensure that basic American precept.
- Is determined by the Florida Legislative Staff Analysis 2008 and 2003 to have no negative effects upon the State.
- Is a bill whose wording has never and can never be amended or changed in any way since it was passed out to the states in its current language by Congress for states to ratify by their legislatures. You will co-sponsor and vote for the same wording that you see now in the logo at the top of this page.
- Acts only to buttress laws, statutes. ordinances, state constitutions that are overlooked, ignored, misinterpreted now (Equal Pay Act, 1963) . ERA does not make new law.
- Regulates only the public sector, not the private sector. (See the neutral language of the Equal Rights Amendment itself.)
- Requires no funding, and restores Florida's deserved image as a progressive state, with justice for all, and full of business opportunities.
- Positively impacts Florida's bottom line as tax revenues should increase while public assistance and court costs decrease, while requiring no fundingone of the few such bills.
- Does not affect reasonable distinctions related to sex based on sensible concerns for hygiene, safety, or modesty in schools, prisons, hospitals, or private clubs, etc.
- Despite special interest naysayers, 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 with existing ERA language in their constitutions (including Florida) have not seen an explosion of the above. In fact, these states actually report statistically fewer abortion procedures than those which do not have a state ERA. (See See ERA REFUTES LIES on site.)
- 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. 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.
- Provides relief to women and men for having 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 birthright. 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 up males' need for an ERA, too. As ERA benefits men and women, it also promotes Family Values. And, unlike other bills ERA REQUIRES NO FUNDING.
- Has amazingly strong public support: 63% vote in 1998 for the Florida constitu- tional ERA; 295,000 supporters in nearly 300 major organizations; 88% of the public by independent survey; 7 Florida newspapers; the Florida Assn. of Counties; 112 ERA Action teams in every region of Florida. ERA bills attain about 49 cosponsors.
**And, unlike other bills to cross your desk, NO FUNDING IS REQUIRED
Needed more than ever, ERA just makes good sense, don't you think?
Wouldn't it be wise for Florida to embrace the benefits of a ratified Equal Rights Amendment and cease still 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 bring out women voters.
Besides, who could be against equality for all?
What American would refuse to sign on to an equality bill?
Thank you for your serious consideration of the urgency of your co-sponsorship and your vote for the ERA bill in the next Session. Thank you.
Prof. Emerita, Adelphi U., NY; Exec. Ctte, of USF Advisory Board; fmr. elected official; internationally distributed pharmacology textbook co-author; nurse practitioner; mother of two; happily married
Founder/President of Equal Rights Alliance Inc., The Organization with Leaders Dedicated Solely to Florida's Ratification of the re-ignited ERA;
Also Vice President, the national ERA Education Fund, Inc., 501(c)(3).
www.RatifyERAflorida.net-- Go there. Get to know us. See who else is cosponsoring, and More.
SandyO@PassERA.org --PO Box 59023, North Redington Beach, FL 33708 12/2009