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In Focus

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

The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was first brought to congress in 1923 and was passed in Congress in 1972, needing three-fourths of the states (38) to ratify it in the next seven years, with Minnesota being among them. As the deadline approached, President Carter extended the deadline once again.

There were actually campaigns to stop the ERA. Some believed this would lead to gender-neut­ral bath­rooms, same-sex marriage, and women in milit­ary combat, among other things. Yeah, umm...that’s already happened without the ERA.

By 1982, only 35 states had ratified it. Five states even tried to back out of their ratification: Nebraska, Kentucky, Idaho, Tennessee and South Dakota. Since then the ERA has been introduced in Congress every year.

In 2017, Nevada finally got on board to ratify the amendment, followed by Illinois in 2018 and Virginia in 2020. Better late than never right? Wrong! These three ratifications were blocked by the Office of Legal Council under Attorney General Bill Barr in the Trump Department of Justice because they were late and they blocked the archivist for adding them.

Last March, the House of Representatives voted, for a second time, to dissolve the time limit written in the amendment’s introduction.

On January 30, 2020, Virginia, Illinois and Nevada attorney generals filed a lawsuit to require the Archivist of the United States to "carry out his statutory duty of recognizing the complete and final adoption" of the ERA as the Twenty-eighth Amendment to the Constitution. Now the ERA Coalition is petitioning the Biden Administration’s Office of Legal Counsel under the DOJ and Attorney General Merrick Garland to rescind Barr’s memo stopping the archivist.

Yes, I am mad about this. Why? It’s 2022! This should have been ratified decades ago. It’s bad enough it’s a male-dominated world, there are still wage gaps and women are still considered second-class citizens. All of these other equality acts only go so far. This would give us more protection from sexual harassment and violence, equal pay, benefits and representation.

What irritates me the most is why do we still have to fight for equality? Why is there still discrimination? It doesn’t matter what color you are, your religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or gender. Why does any one person or any group of people such as Black Lives Matter, the LGBTQ+ community, etc. have to fight for their right to just exist?

It’s a crazy world we live in!

If you would like to make a contribution to society this week...please be kind.




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