A resolution to ratify the long-dead Equal Rights Amendment, known as ERA, has been introduced into several state legislatures, but it will make any legislature look really foolish if it passes it today because ERA is dead. The U.S. Supreme Court declared on October 4, 1982 that the Equal Rights Amendment was dead because fewer than three-fourths of the states had ratified it during the two time periods specified by Congress. ERA was rejected by the American people because its advocates could never show that it would give any benefit to women. What ERA would do is to make all federal and state laws sex neutral. The prime example of a law that is not sex-neutral is the military draft, which has always stated “male citizens of age 18 must register.” ERA would change that to “persons of age 18 must register,” and women would be subject to the draft. The feminists never ever denied that effect, and that proved to be a powerful reason why ERA was defeated in the 1970s and ’80s.
When the feminists took this issue of gender difference of treatment to the federal courts, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it was OK to exempt women from the draft specifically because they are exempt from military combat. Now that the Defense Department has announced that women will be assigned to combat, that takes this argument away, and makes it clear that if ERA were ever ratified, 18-year-old girls would be subject to the draft just like men, and involuntarily assigned to any job the military wants. This offense to women, as well as to common sense, is only one of the bad effects of putting the word “sex” in the U.S. Constitution.
If ERA had been approved in the 1980s, we would have had same-sex marriages 30 years ago. Tell your state legislators to vote No on any reintroduction of the Equal Rights Amendment.
Contributing Editor, Phyllis Schlafly, is the Founder and President of Eagle Forum, a national radio show host, and a best-selling author.
Used with the permission of Eagle Forum.
The Moral Liberal recommends: Phyllis Schlafly and Grassroots Conservatism: A Woman’s Crusade (Politics and Society in Twentieth-Century America)