It is disgraceful that the United States still has not passed the Equal Rights Amendment to the US Constitution. Now in the Trump ERA seems the right time to renew the push to pass the ERA. It is the right time to mobilize the American people and the energy and outrage at the backward efforts by Trump and the GOP to dismantle many safeguards and efforts of our country to better the life of our citizens. It is a question of human dignity and equality to say that All Americans regardless of sex shall be treated equally under the law.
As the New York Times write in an editorial entitled “The Equal Rights Amendment Returns”:
Having a sexist in the Oval Office who curries favor with conservative religious groups is having dire consequences. Health workers in developing nations are preparing for a rise in unsafe abortions due to President Trump’s reinstatement of the global gag rule that prohibits federal funding of groups that provide abortion services or referrals. Here at home, his administration has been hostile not only to abortion access, but even to birth control.
But Mr. Trump’s presidency is also having some effects he probably doesn’t intend. Rage at the election of a man who boasted about grabbing women’s genitals helped set off the #MeToo movement’s reckoning with sexual misconduct. A record number of women are running for office around the country, many of them announcing their candidacies after participating in women’s marches the day after Mr. Trump’s inauguration.
And now, on Mr. Trump’s watch, feminists could reach a goal nearly a century in the making, and that many assumed would never come to pass — ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution. It states: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”
Congress passed the ERA on March 22, 1972. Three quarters of the states are needed to ratify a Constitutional Amendment. According to Wikipedia 36 states have voted to ratify the ERA. Nevada did so in 2017.. Illinois is moving to becomes the 37th, with their Senate voting YES on April 11, 2018 by a 43 to 12 vote.
As the New York Times article pointed out there are strong arguments to continue the fight to pass the ERA:
Looking at everything the E.R.A. would not do raises the question of why it’s still needed. Here’s why it is: The court decisions that make up the “de facto E.R.A.” can be undone in a way a constitutional amendment cannot. The E.R.A. would add an extra layer of legal protection for women — and men — against discrimination. This could become especially important if Mr. Trump gets to pick additional conservative Supreme Court justices.
There’s also a symbolic and emotional element to this fight that’s not to be discounted. Ruth Bader Ginsburg — who, before becoming a Supreme Court justice, fought many legal battles over gender discrimination and is a longtime supporter of the E.R.A. — summed up this argument in 2014.
“I would like my granddaughters, when they pick up the Constitution, to see that notion — that women and men are persons of equal stature,” she said. “I’d like them to see that is a basic principle of our society.”
Enshrining women’s rights in the Constitution matters. Doing so now, during this presidency, would be particularly fitting.
This is an issue that needs action and is long overdue. States that have in the past voted in one House but not both include Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Virginia. If Illinois does pass it then only one more state is needed. Maybe Virginia is a strong possibility with their recent change in their Legislature.