January 8, 2019
Please read and pass on to all you know in Virginia as well as others who can help nationally. Action on the ERA is taking place in Virginia this week! If it passes, it becomes a national issue that we all need to take action on.
There is a serious attempt to resurrect and pass a dangerous amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would prohibit any ability to make any distinctions based on sex or gender. The proposed amendment in question is the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) which was thoroughly debated and defeated in the 1970s and early 1980s. The main portion of the ERA reads: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be abridged or denied by the United States or any state on account of sex.” The original supporters of this amendment claimed the ERA would give women equal rights. However, the broad vague language of the amendment will actually:
- Overturn laws and policies that were created to support women in all areas of life because it could be argued that such laws and policies make a distinction based on sex. (Examples of these policies include exemption of women from the military draft and mandated inclusion in front-line combat; social security benefits for stay-at-home mothers; laws and presumptions that benefit women in the areas of child support and alimony; federal programs that support women as mothers such as a the Women, Infant and Children [WIC] program)
- Overturn laws and practices that provide for privacy and protection in bathrooms, locker rooms, hospitals, nursing homes, domestic abuse shelters and correctional facilities.
- Permanently write abortion rights for all 3 trimesters into the U.S. Constitution, require taxpayer funding of elective abortions, and override conscience laws that allow medical providers to abstain from performing abortions.
- Threaten religious freedom in regards to a church’s ability to ordain only men or in regards to their doctrine and practices regarding marriage.
The laws and policies needed to equalize women’s participation in the work place and in all areas of life already exist. Examples of such laws include the Equal Pay Act of 1963; the Civil Rights Act of 1964; the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972; Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972; and the 14th Amendment (which provides for “equal protection of the laws” for all persons).
Clearly, the attempts to resurrect this amendment are not about women’s rights. In reality, the supporters are focused on an agenda of placing full abortion rights in the Constitution and removing sex and gender from our society.
The ERA must receive ratification from 38 states to become part of the U.S. Constitution. 35 states ratified the ERA before its deadline of 1979. Supporters recently passed the ERA in 2 additional states (Nevada and Illinois), and they are now focusing their attention on Virginia in hopes of attaining the 38th state. There are many legal questions regarding this attempt to resurrect the ERA, but we must take this attempt seriously and do everything we can to stop it from moving forward. The consequences of placing this amendment in our Constitution are too severe to ignore.
Actions you can take:
- If you live in Virginia, please contact your state senator and state representative/delegate and encourage them to vote against the ERA (VA House Contact / VA Senate Contact).
- Whether you live in Virginia, or another state, please educate yourself about the problems with this amendment and pass this on to others so they can be aware and help. If the ERA attains 38 states’ ratifications, it will have to go to Congress for an extension of the time deadline. We will need everyone in all 50 states to help oppose the ERA in Congress.
- Pass this on to those you know in Virginia so that they can take action with their legislators.
- If you live in Virginia and would like to be kept informed about the efforts in your state to oppose the ERA, please contact the Family Foundation using their link below.
More information on the ERA can be found at the following links.
www.familyfoundation.org (the Virginia organization that is organizing opposition to the ERA in Virginia) To identify and contact your Virginia legislators, click on this website, and then click on the menu button in the top left-hand corner, then click on Citizen Action Center and ERA action items will be listed, along with resources for identifying and contacting your state legislators to oppose the ERA.
Unexpected Action on Constitutional Amendments (more on what is taking place in Virginia this week)