by Shari Temple – DA ERA Project Coordinator
For those of you who have not been following the progress of this amendment that failed to get through Congress in 1977, here’s a brief history: The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution designed to guarantee equal legal rights for all American citizens regardless of sex; it seeks to end the legal distinctions between men and women in terms of divorce, property, employment and other matters including equal rights to be heard in courts of justice.
From 1971 to 1977, the amendment received 35 of the necessary 38 state ratifications. With wide, bipartisan support (including that of both major political parties, both houses of Congress, and Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Carter) the ERA seemed destined for ratification until Phyllis Schafly mobilized conservative women in opposition, arguing that the ERA would disadvantage housewives and cause women to be drafted into the military.
Today 37 states have ratified the Amendment (recently adding Nevada and Illinois in 2017 and 2018). Today we are one state short of ratification! Virginia is close to ratifying the amendment, and IF YOU ARE FROM VIRGINIA, PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION that could make it finally happen. CLICK HERE. Just use your Virginia voting address.
A push for Virginia to become the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights
Amendment has cleared its first legislative hurdle.
A Virginia State Senate committee voted in favor of legislation Wednesday to approve the gender-equality amendment. The legislation still must be voted on by the full Senate and the House.
Here are three things you can do to help make the ERA a reality:
1. Learn more about why we need the ERA and tell your friends. We are pleased to announce that Democrats Abroad has received limited free access to the 30-minute video – “Legalize Equality” by the Equal Means Equal organization. This documentary is very informative and is worth the time it takes to view it. Watch the trailer.
If you would like to watch the video, just click this link, RSVP for the event and you will receive a confirmation email with the link to the video and the password. You have until January 20th! Request to view now!
2. Send a postcard (or letter) to the Virginia Speaker of the House and/or other members of the legislature. The goal is to show state legislature members that their constituents and other Americans living outside the US care about the Equal Rights Amendment being ratified.Mail to:
Honorable Speaker Kirk Cox
900 E. Main St, Room E605
Richmond, Virginia 23219
3. Join our ERA Photo and Video Campaign. The Virginia Equal Means Equal team needs our help ASAP! Take a photo holding up a sign and/or make a 30-45 second video. The simple guidelines can be found here.
The women in Virginia leading the ERA activities there, love the videos we have already created. They originally planned to show them at a reception on Wednesday but decided that our message was so powerful that they would now release one per day starting January 9 on the VAratifyERA and Equal Means Equal website and social media. They will also send to all the target state legislature members whom they are trying to sway their vote. Please send your pictures, videos, and/or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Democrats Abroad has long supported this Amendment, and today the mood is right to make it happen. You might think that women are equal under the law, under the Constitution, they aren‘t. Democrats Abroad met on Webex with leaders of the movement in October. Watch the video HERE to learn why we need this Amendment. You may be surprised.
REMEMBER: Virginia has the historical opportunity to be the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, adding 24 important words to the Constitution: Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.
Internationally, 84% of constitutions guarantee gender equality and ours should too!
The VAratifyERA campaign has a goal of 20,000 signatures! Add your voice and be a part of making history at VAratifyERA.org/petition — you will be added to newsletters only if you opt-in on the petition.
>>>>> www.VAratifyERA.org/petition <<<<<<<
Thank you for you help. The time for ERA is now.
Also if you are interested in helping with DA’s ERA project, please let me know – email@example.com.