New Hope for the Equal Rights Amendment

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“It is indefensible that 100 years following the Equal Rights Amendment, gender equality is not the law of the land.”
—Representative Sydney Kamlager-Dove

[The ERA was first introduced about 100 years ago and June 30, 1982 was supposed to be the date on its death certificate after not quite enough states had ratified it by that arbitrary deadline. The Constitution did not impose that deadline, Congress did that. And Congress can remove the deadline that was extra-constitutional in the first place. Enough States have ratified now and twin Joint Resolutions are in the House (HJ Res 25) and Senate (SJ Res 4) to remove the deadline. Senator Schumer has promised a vote. 

In the House, a group of ERA warriors has launched the first ever Equal Rights Amendment Caucus with our own CD37 Representative Sydney Kamlager-Dove as a Caucus Vice-Chair.  Below is a transcript of her remarks at the launch ceremony —Cynthia Hart]

“Thank you, and I am so proud to stand here today with all of my female warriors, especially my Congressional Black Caucus colleagues and the Co-Chairs of this caucus, Representative Cori Bush and Representative Ayanna Pressley. They never say no to fighting for what’s right.

It is indefensible that 100 years following the Equal Rights Amendment, gender equality is not the law of the land. Without protections granted under the Constitution, women—especially Black women, Brown women, Indigenous women, LGBTQ women and people, and those at the margins of our society—are continually subjected to discrimination.

So, today, we are making it absolutely damn clear that this must be a national issue. You might have written us out, but don’t count us out. As [a] Vice Chair of this caucus, I stand ready to defend the liberties of those who would benefit the most from having the 28th Amendment added to our Constitution.

Abortion rights are under attack. LGBTQ rights and freedoms are under attack. The health and economic well-being of Black and Brown women are under attack. Hell, having a vagina right now is under attack. And being Black and Brown and Indigenous and Asian—and needing health care—and working for a dollar, but not getting it back—it’s something we have to continue to stand up to and fight against.

So, today, we are saying no in every single language. It’s a no. Stop walking over us because we have shown you that we are not going anywhere, but that this sexist misogynist policy must go. I look forward to working with the leadership of these amazing women to make sure that the ERA is enshrined into our Constitution once and for all.”