For Legislators and Interested Others, here are answers to most of your questions about Equal Rights Amendment--
The Equal Rights Amendment Alliance, Inc., 501c3 is the only organization in Florida with Leaders committed solely to ERA ratification by Florida's legislature. There are other fine statewide and national ERA organizations as well, such as ERA Action and ERA Coalition. We are proud to work together to bring about passage of the noble Equal Rights Amendment into the U.S. Constitution by achieving just 3 more state legislatures' votes for / ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.
We hope that you will find this information helpful; documentation is available. We are always happy to answer questions and receive comments atSandyO@PassERA.org. We will reach out to request office or telephone appointments with lawmakers to urge ERA Resolutions' co-sponsorship. ERA is not a simple concept, and there are Special Interests and some others who try to make ERA principles into something other than being the base of biblical teachings, and civil and human rights, into something sinister and evil. Passing ERA will be one more step to making the U.S.A. a truly democratic enterprise, a democracy-acting nation. As such, it will solidify our country's reputation and image, sometimes suffering an unfair, greedy, self-important image.
We are the nonpartisan, nonprofit, non-sexist, single-issue, all-inclusive National Equal Rights Amendment Alliance, Inc., comprising more than 300,000 committed supporters; 300+ major organizations; 7 Florida newspapers; hundreds of our own national Equal Rights Amendment Action Teams; and more than 350 individual Activists. Each year there are bipartisan ERA co-sponsors. National Equal Rights Amendment Alliance works for all people’s equal treatment regardless of sex, for full personhood and rights to self-determination regardless of gender.
Summed up, we work 12/7, year around, pro bono for all peoples' equal treatment and self-determination regardless of sex, and for full personhood for all. These are all the goals set by elevating sex discrimination as a Violation of the U.S. Constitution via passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. It is a humane effort that we forge on to facilitate, not for $$, status nor power, but Because We Care.
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 democratic value of equality for all regardless of gender.
National private and Congressional legal teams assisting us, the National Equal Rights Amendment 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.
Specifically, the Equal Rights Amendment:
- 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 Equal Rights Amendment dead). Many substantive legal arguments support opinion that Equal Rights Amendment continues “viable and contemporaneous”. Equal Rights Amendment has already been vetted and voted for in 35 of all but 38 of the required states. Ten states, including Florida, have filed ratification Resolutions. It is the responsibility of the Florida legislature only to vote on the words of the Equal Rights Amendment as voted out by Congress in 1972. That is the right and just thing to do, not a scandalous encroachment on civilized life, not an evil plot, not a "nose under the tent" to emasculate American males.
- Is not a special entitlement, is not a hoax, not a conspiracy, and outweighs any “unintended consequences” imagined by any Special Interest group. Fact is, the Equal Rights Amendment is Win-Win for all.
- Is still “viable and contemporaneous” based on past precedent and unaccepted rescissions of their previous votes for it by a few states. There is no such provision set by nor even mentioned in the appropriate Article V of our Constitution.
- Still embodies the only secure guarantee of equal treatment for both sexes. Neither the 14th Amendment, state constitutions, (NB. Florida’s state constitutional equal rights amendment was left unsettled in 2001,2004) nor current laws reliably ensure that basic American precept.
- Is determined by the Florida Legislative Staff Analysis 2003 and 2008 to have no negative effects upon the State whatsoever.
- Is a bill whose wording has never and can never be amended or changed in any way since it was passed out in 1972 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. The ERA, as a Constitutional amendment is not counted when some states' legislators are limited to a certain number.
- Acts only to buttress laws, statutes. ordinances, state constitutions that are overlooked, ignored, misinterpreted now (e.g., Equal Pay Act, 1963).
- 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 funding—one of the few such bills. ERA is positively predicted by economic experts to boost America's Gross Domestic Product by 15%, as was experienced by other post-WWII nations as was so mandated by the U.S.A. Ironically, our nation has dragged its feet on enacting the same benefit here.
- 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, Equal Rights Amendment 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, Equal Rights Amendment language is purely neutral on any intent other than equality for all regardless of gender. The 22 states with existing Equal Rights Amendment language in their constitutions have seen no explosion of the above. In fact, these states actually report statistically fewer abortion procedures than those which do not have a state Equal Rights Amendment.
- Has been codified in every other new nation’s charter or constitution since WWII (NB. 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 Equal Rights Amendment is passed, the only incontestable right of American women is the right to vote. And, they had to go get that for themselves despite jailing and forced-feedings; they were not "given" that right as men were.
- 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 would be relieved of the burden of the current larger 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 which sex discrimination now must rely on until ERA is part of our Constitution. 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).
- Equal Rights Amendment 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 recently. Frequent unjust child custody and support awards before traditional courts; harsh consensual teen sex adjudications, male name-changing, the draft, child immigration and other inequities point up males' need for an Equal Rights Amendment, too. As Equal Rights Amendment benefits men and women, it also promotes family values. And, unlike other bills, Equal Rights Amendment REQUIRES NO FUNDING.
- Has amazingly strong public support: the 63% "YES" in 1998 for the Florida constitutional Equal Rights Amendment has now grown to 94% nationwide; Florida's ERA supporters in 300 + major organizations; 7 Florida newspapers; the Florida Assn. of Counties; many hundreds of National Equal Rights Amendment Alliance Action teams in every region of Florida and a great many across the nation.
**NO FUNDING IS REQUIREDAnd, unlike other bills to cross your desk,
Needed more than ever, Equal Rights Amendment 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 while doggedly refusing a 15% growth in GDP? 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 Equal Rights Amendment, you could make history and bring out women voters "who have been noble far too long".
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 Equal Rights Amendment bill in the next Session.