Revival of the ERA Underway

Posted on October 8, 2011 by

Two South Florida lawmakers are pushing for Florida to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, which died a much deserved death in 1982 when the deadline passed for ratification from the states. Of course we are reminded why the ERA is still so important. Because no matter how equal things look, there is always the slim chance that some evil member of the patriarchy will discriminate covertly and we can’t have that:

And now, as a pair of South Florida lawmakers push for Florida to ratify the decades-old proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution, some question if there’s truly a need.

“Our generation is different…it’s not really an issue to us on a day-to-day basis,” said April Thornton, 24, a business major at Broward College, who said she had never heard of the ERA.

Said Robin Jasmin, 19, a nursing major at Broward College: “It doesn’t seem like things are unequal at the moment, of course it is there, but it’s not in your face … it’s one of those things that is unspoken, they’re not going to tell you they’re not going to pick you because you’re a woman.

Florida rejected ERA in 1977. Because of the ratification deadline, the only legal way for the ERA to be ratified is for its proponents to start the process all over again. But that could take years, so earlier this year a Wisconsin legislator has introduced legislation that would eliminate the ratification deadline and make it clear that with approval from three additional states (the number ERA fell short in the 1970’s) the ERA would become an official amendment to the Constitution. Her bill has gotten nowhere in Congress so far, however.

There’s a reason why they want to change the rules. Theoretically, it should be easier to get at least three more states to ratify in 2011 than there were in the 1970’s. Below is a map of which states ratified and rejected the ERA:

The danger of course is that if they have to start from the beginning, they’ll lose some of the states that originally ratified the amendment because any honest person knows that there isn’t a need for it.