"It's been 100 years since the Equal Rights Amendment was introduced, and Alice
Paul is on my mind.
Alice was a suffragist whose work helped women get the right to vote in 1919.
But what I love about her is how she knew she couldn't stop there. So, four
years later, she co-wrote what became known as the ERA, a move to enshrine full
equality in the U.S. Constitution regardless of sex. Alice's effort kicked off
a century-long campaign that finally won over Republicans, then Democrats, and
led to the ERA's passage by both the Senate and the House in 1972. All that was
left was for the states to ratify it.
In 2020, Virginia became the 38th and final state required by our Constitution
to ratify the ERA. There's a roadblock, though: a decades-old poison pill
imposed when Congress passed it in the 1970s, setting a seven-year time limit
for ratification. The time limit has no constitutional basis, and recent
lawsuits are making that case. While the courts remain locked in debate about
the validity of the time limit, one thing is clear: they left the door open to
congressional action to lift it.
Thankfully, in January, a group of bipartisan lawmakers introduced a resolution
to affirm the validity of the ERA and remove the time limit on its
ratification, and make Alice Paul's work, and those of us still dedicated to
it, a long overdue reality. The Senate is holding a hearing Feb. 28 on the
resolution, and we need strong action from every member of Congress.
There's far too much at risk for anything less. While several developed nations
have protections in place like the ERA, rights and freedoms for U.S. women and
LGBTQ+ people continue to grow more endangered by the day. If the ERA wasn't so
important, its opponents wouldn't be working overtime to keep it out of the
Via Whuffo, then Kenny Chaffin, Susan ✶✶✶✶ and Diane A.
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