ERA post-election update

Today, we are three states shy of making the ERA part of the Constitution. In a 2016 poll for the national ERA Coalition, an astonishing 94 percent said they would support an amendment guaranteeing equal rights for men and women. But guess what? Ironically, 80 percent of those polled believed we already have it! We don’t. So a huge task is on our plate.

The ERA-NC Alliance, organized early this year, now has nine lead organizations:

  • RATIFY ERA-NC
  • NC4ERA
  • NC National Organization for Women
  • NC Business and Professional Women
  • American Association of University Women of NC
  • League of Women Voters of NC
  • Women’s Forum of NC
  • Democratic Women of NC
  • North Carolina Women United

In addition, the Alliance has attracted several member organizations and numerous individual ERA supporters. To join, go to www.era-nc.org.

Senator Floyd McKissick and Representative Carla Cunningham expect to introduce the Equal Rights Amendment in the 2017 session of the NC General Assembly, which convenes January 11. Plans are to hold a news conference when the legislation has been introduced in January or early February. Also, if the bills are not given hearings in the respective committees, the ERA-NC Alliance will lead a public citizens’ hearing. The date will be announced later.

The first annual business meeting of the Alliance will be held in Raleigh on March 13, the day before Women’s Advocacy Day, according to Roberta Madden and Marena Groll, Alliance co-chairs. Please stay tuned for details—and mark your calendar now for March 13-14 in Raleigh.

Now, more than ever, women must work together to get bedrock constitutional protection of equality into the U.S. Constitution.

Don’t agonize. Organize!

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Legislative, congressional candidates respond to ERA survey

In response to a recent survey on the Equal Rights Amendment, many North Carolina candidates for the General Assembly and the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives have declared support for the ERA. Most of the legislative candidates who responded said “yes” when asked: “If elected, will you cosponsor and vote for the resolution to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment?”

The survey was conducted by the Equal Rights Amendment North Carolina Alliance. The nonpartisan Alliance, organized this spring, is dedicated to ratification of the ERA. According to Roberta Madden, co-chair, “The amendment is needed to provide bedrock constitutional protection for equal rights for everyone, regardless of gender. We are very pleased by the broad support for equal rights. Supporters include Democrats, Republicans, and Libertarians,” she said. The ERA will be introduced in the General Assembly in 2017.

For copies of the questionnaires and updated candidate response lists, see     ww.era- nc.org/election-2016/.

About the ERA-NC Alliance:
Membership is open to individuals and organizations committed to the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. Lead organizations include the American Association of University Women of NC, Democratic Women of NC, League of Women Voters of NC, NC 4 ERA, NC Business & Professional Women, NC National Organization for Women, NC Women United, Ratify ERA- NC and the Women’s Forum of NC. The Alliance operates in direct collaboration with the national ERA Coalition (www.eracoalition.org).

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ERA-NC Alliance Questions Candidates about ERA Position

The ERA-NC Alliance, a new coalition of which BPW-NC is a lead organization, recently surveyed all NC legislative and congressional candidates to determine where they stand on the Equal Rights Amendment.

Candidates for the House and Senate of the NC General Assembly were asked to reply to this question:

“If elected, will you cosponsor and vote for the resolution to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment?”

Candidates for the U.S. House and Senate were asked two questions:

  1. If elected, will you cosponsor and vote for legislation to propose an Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution?
  2. If elected, will you cosponsor and vote for legislation to eliminate the deadline for ratification of the 1972 ERA measure, so that 3 more states would be needed to successfully ratify the ERA?

Stamped, pre-addressed postcards were enclosed in each letter to candidates, who were asked to respond by July 31. The questionnaires will be posted soon on this website.

Responses will be announced on August 26, Women’s Equality Day, said Roberta Madden, who organized the mailing.

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New poll shows massive support for ERA

http://FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Bettina Hager – (973) 876-3826 / bettina@eracoalition.org Carol Jenkins – (646) 596-2550 / carol@caroljenkinsmedia.com

BREAKING: Americans—by 94%– Overwhelmingly Support the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) Actress Patricia Arquette to testify on the ERA at the DNC Platform Committee hearing in Phoenix, Arizona on June 18 New York, NY – June 17 2016 –

Today the ERA Coalition/ Fund for Women’s Equality released a poll finding near-universal support for amending the United States Constitution to include protections for women. The ERA is a proposed amendment to the Constitution that would expressly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex. 80% of those polled mistakenly believe that men and women are already guaranteed equal rights in the U.S. Constitution. As the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia stated: “Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn’t.”

94% of those polled said they would support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that guarantees equal rights for both men and women.This extraordinary level of support was expressed by both men and women – 90% of men and 96% of women polled. And when identified by political party, Democrats, Republicans and Independents all overwhelming support the amendment as well: 97% of Democrats, 90% of Republicans, and 92% of Independents. “In research terms this is as close to unanimous as support could possibly be,” says Dan Goldstein, CSO of db5 – the market research firm that conducted the poll, “there’s nothing 94% of Americans agree on – except this issue it would seem.”

Jessica Neuwirth, President of the ERA Coalition/Fund for Women’s Equality, which is building a national network of organizations and activists working for the passage and ratification of the ERA, notes, “Our work on the ground confirms the findings of this poll: women and men around the country and across all party lines are ready—and eager—for the ERA.”  Patricia Arquette, an activist for women’s equality and committed ERA supporter, will testify in Phoenix, Arizona on Saturday, June 18, 2016 at a DNC Platform Committee hearing, where she will urge the party to make the ERA a priority. “All of the things we want for women, including equal pay and effective legal recourse for gender-based violence, are in the ERA,” Arquette says. “This polling shows the country is with us—we need Congress to catch up.”

First introduced almost 100 years ago, in 1923, the ERA was passed by Congress in 1972: Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. This amendment was sent to the states for ratification with a seven year deadline that was extended to ten years. By the expiration of the deadline in 1982, 35 states had ratified the amendment, just three states short of the 38 states needed to put the ERA in the Constitution.

Since then, the ERA has been reintroduced in Congress every session. Congress has not once voted on it over the past thirty years. Current efforts to put the ERA in the Constitution are being led in Congress by Rep Carolyn Maloney, D-NY, Rep. Cynthia Lummis, R-WY, and Jackie Speier, D-CA. “The ERA is the only way to eliminate the wage gap and ensure women are paid the same as men. It’s that simple. Without the ERA, women’s rights and equality are not guaranteed,” says Rep. Maloney. “The ERA Coalition’s poll shows that all Americans – regardless of gender, party or age – are united in their support for equality for women and men under the Constitution.” Rep. Speier adds, “The poll shows what many of us have known all along – the American public supports the ERA and gender equality. Hopefully this will wake up Congress to this reality so we can finally pass the ERA.”

Rep Bonnie Watson-Coleman, D-NJ, one of the conveners of the Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls, has begun monthly Special Order sessions on the floor of Congress to gather support for the Equal Rights Amendment. Noting the broad base of support for the ERA indicated by the poll, she says, “It’s time for a coalition of men and women, Democrats and Republicans, people of color and more to join together and support this amendment. I’m committed to seeing that happen – it’s clear American opinion is on our side.”

The dba5 poll was commissioned by enso, an agency creating social impact though mission- driven creativity, on behalf of the ERA Coalition/Fund for Women’s Equality. The poll was conducted in October 2015 using an online survey. Respondents were recruited through Critical Mix and accredited by True Sample to guarantee the quality of the survey’s participants. A nationally representative sample of 1,017 people took part in the survey. The data was then weighted, to ensure that it was proportional to and representative of the population’s political affiliation.

The ERA Coalition and the Fund for Women’s Equality are sister organizations, founded in 2014 to work respectively for passage and ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment and for greater public understanding of the need for equal treatment of women under the law. ***** From a poll conducted by DB5, commissioned by enso on behalf of the ERA Coalition/ Fund for Women’s Equality. Contact: info@eracoalition.org, 202-459-9939, www.eracoalition.org  From a poll conducted by DB5, commissioned by enso on behalf of the ERA Coalition/ Fund for Women’s Equality. Contact: info@eracoalition.org, 202-459-9939, www.eracoalition.org 

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Eloquent argument that feminism makes men free

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WOMEN’S FORUM OF NC – ERA IN NC/ROBERTA MADDEN

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Myths about the ERA Debunked

Well reasoned article from the Illinois State Bar Association
By Cindy G. Buys

This October, a post on ISBA listserv sparked spirited debate. There were over 70 comments made in the span of a week—all about the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), which states in relevant part: “Equality of rights shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of sex.” That conversation inspired the following collection of common misperceptions about the ERA and recent efforts to restart the ratification process.

1. Aren’t the sexes equal?

Constitutionally speaking, no.

To quote Justice Antonin Scalia, “Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn’t. Nobody ever thought that’s what it meant.”1 More troubling, 72% of Americans mistakenly believe there is a constitutional guarantee that women and men must be treated equally.2 While some federal legislation has tackled discrimination, the U.S. Constitution lacks an affirmative declaration of equality between the sexes. And the legislation that does exist is not comprehensive and leaves significant gaps in coverage.3 These gaps help explain why women still make only 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man for the same work.

If read plainly, the 14th amendment would seem to encompass gender discrimination as it mandates no “state shall deprive . . . any person within its jurisdiction equal protection of the laws,” but that is not how it has been applied historically. Despite decades of challenges, the U.S. Supreme Court did not treat sex-based classifications as even quasi-suspect until the 1971 case Reed v. Reed, striking down estate administration laws that preferred men. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg spent most of her career trying to get the Supreme Court to see gender in the 14th Amendment, but this goal remains unfinished business.

To read the rest of this article, visit:

https://www.isba.org/committees/women/newsletter/2015/11/mythsabouteradebunked

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NEW ALLIANCE FORMED TO RATIFY ERA

Equal Pay Day, April 12 is the symbolic day when average women’s wages catch up with men’s from the previous year. The average woman working full time in the U.S. typically has to work 15 months to take home what a white male does in just 12. And if you think that’s bad, this pay gap is even larger for black and Latina women, and is just one of the many ways women experience inequality in our nation.

On that day, the ERA-NC Alliance, a new nonpartisan coalition, was launched. Its purpose is to work toward ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment in NC as part of a nationwide strategy to gain passage. The Alliance operates in direct collaboration with the national ERA Coalition, which is leading a resurgence of ERA advocacy. ERA-NC is nonpartisan and welcomes the broadest collaboration with individuals and organizations at all levels.

Political reemergence of the ERA comes at a time of significant unrest for women dissatisfied with the status of women’s rights in NC and across the nation. Our demand for equal rights is rising in response to regressive legislation and ongoing practices seen as hostile to women, particularly in the areas of pay inequity, pregnancy discrimination, violence against women, and a lack of political parity.

Dr. E. Faye Williams, national president and CEO of the National Congress of Black Women, spoke at the news conference and in a panel discussion of the need for the ERA. Other speakers were Gailya Paliga, president of NC NOW; Roberta Madden of RATIFY ERA-NC; Marena Groll, founder of NC4ERA; Audrey Muck, president of Triad NOW; and Dr. Michael Pisapia, assistant professor of politics and international affairs at Wake Forest University.

The program was held at Wake Forest University, whose Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department sponsored the event.

Lead organizations joining the nonpartisan Alliance include the NC Business and Professional Women, American Association of University Women of NC, Democratic Women of NC, League of Women Voters of NC, NC4ERA, NC National Organization for Women, RATIFY ERA-NC, and the Women’s Forum of NC. Other member organizations of NCWU are cordially invited to join the Alliance. To do so, please see www.era-nc.org.

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Feminists: Pass The ERA, Then We Can Argue About Armpit Hair

by Kimberley A. Johnson
Author of American Woman: The Poll Dance, Media Director for We Are Woman

Too many feminists, especially in the age of social networking, are reprimanded by other feminists accusing them of being radically feminist, not feminist enough, or not up to their particular feminist standards. Many in the feminist community disagree about what feminism is and they’re not afraid to argue about it.  [Read more in The Huffington Post…]

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North Carolina Group Joins Efforts to Revive the Equal Rights Amendment

Seeking to find some light at the end of the tunnel, a new non-partisan, statewide organization calling itself, the ERA-NC Alliance held a press conference at Wake Forest University to announced renewed efforts to advocate for the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, better known as the ERA. Ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment in North Carolina is intended as part of a nationwide campaign to begin the Amendment process again or achieve ratification by securing the three additional states needed for inclusion in the U.S. Constitution… Read the entire story on the Camel City Dispatch website.

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