What was the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)? It was a proposed amendment to the Constitution. The text in the figure above is what the ERA was suppose to be, but the states never ratified it.
Why didn’t the states ratify the ERA? Well, the process of amending the Constitution is laborious for a reason. As people began to think about it, they began to realize that the ERA would cause more trouble than good. Passage of the ERA would require the government to treat men an women without regard to their differences, not just as equal before the law.
Consider some articles on the history of the ERA.
- Equal Rights Amendment (en.wikipedia.org): Leans toward the Liberal Democrats.
- ERA History (equalrightsamendment.org): This is the work of an ERA advocacy group. This group appears to view the ERA as completing the task of giving women the right to vote and full citizenship.
- 57c. The Equal Rights Amendment (www.ushistory.org): Written as a chapter of US History.
- Equal Rights Amendment (britannica.com): The viewpoint of the authors of “Encyclopedia Britannica”.
What becomes apparent when we read these histories? Conservative opposition, once aroused, brought the ratification of the ERA to standstill. People began to realize that the ERA would require our government to treat women and men as if the two sexes are identical. Commonsense says women and men are not the same, and a little thought suggests we will run into some real problems if we try to treat men and women as if they are the same.
Unfortunately, the ERA is not dead. After almost 40 years, people have forgotten what is wrong with the idea. Moreover, advocates are making up their own rules. In spite of the fact advocates failed to get enough states to ratify the bill within the time Congress had allotted for ratification, ERA advocates in Virginia are still pushing for ratification in Virginia and trying to make an issue out of the ERA in the 2019 elections.
Since Marshall’s factsheet is seven pages long there is much to digest. So this series is designed to help us read the factsheet in bitesize chunks and encourage people to download and read it.
What are the remaining parts of this series of posts?
Marshall sent out his Factsheet in an email. His email describes the effort to ratify the ERA in Virginia. This will be Part 2 of this series.
Part 3 – 6 cover the four consequences of ratifying the ERA.
- Part3: The ERA would mandate abortion funding, remove conscience protections and end all restrictions on abortions throughout all 9 months of pregnancy;
- Part 4: The ERA would require women to be drafted if men are, and force women into front-line combat even without a draft;
- Part 5: The ERA would end privacy rights for women/girls during TSA or police pat downs, and in locker rooms, changing areas, prisons, hospitals and women-only homeless shelters;
- Part 6: The ERA would end female sports including chances for scholarships.