Sec. 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
Sec. 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
Sec. 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.
The ERA is all-inclusive, inspirational, enforceable and sustainable.
THE ERA IN A GLOBAL ECONOMY
The U.S. government cannot legitimately condemn the human rights abuses of women and girls abroad while denying its female citizens constitutional equality at home. What happens to women and children around the world has consequences for the United States and vice-versa. In terms of the status of women as true partners in society, the U.S. can no longer lead from behind.
United 4 Equality, LLC, chose the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day, March 8, 2011, to debut our exciting new ERA strategy and stand in solidarity with our global sisters to encourage the improvement of social contracts between women and governments worldwide.
THE ERA IN A DEMOCRACY
The principle of equality and justice for all human beings is all-inclusive. The ERA will transform the intent of the Constitution in 1789 that held women as inferior, 2nd class citizens under law and confer the rights and privileges of full citizenship to them. In practical terms, when full citizens of a democracy join together to petition the U.S. government for laws, policies and programs that further their interests, such as a National Work/Life Agenda, they won’t be ignored!
Over time as attitudes and behaviors establish a true partnership between men and women, society will grow and prosper in ways unimaginable.
THE ERA IN CONGRESS
Congress would finally have clear limits established by We the People with regards to not using legislation to control only women’s lives. Congress would also be required to enforce through legislation the provisions of the ERA at the federal level, which would trump state laws that seek to reverse progress made. So when your state may pass a law that is unconscionable for women and humanity, ERA says, “Oh, no you don’t. What’s good for the goose (female) must be good for the gander (male)”.
[EXAMPLE: Recall the courageous state legislators that countered vaginal ultrasound tests for women seeking abortions with prostate exams and outlawing masturbation for men taking Viagra? This is an example of the power of reciprocity (or in this case tyranny) under law. Legally, the US govt would not be able to pass discriminatory laws against women only. The ERA would prevent these laws from being enacted because women and men would have equal status under law.
The likelihood that a male-dominated Congress would allow such attacks on women’s rights is nil and so women would no longer be targeted exclusively. Fortunately, U.S. law tends not to favor limiting rights, but rather expanding them.
The ERA seeks to expand the benefits, privileges and responsibilities of full citizenship to women that men automatically possess as their birthright. But the benefits women gain will also apply to men who may not have equal standing. [For example: Men who father children while living abroad jump through more hoops to prove paternity than mothers which causes unnecessarily frustration, delay or even denial of custody privileges on the basis of being male. That is not right either.]
THE ERA IN THE STATES
Another benefit of the ERA is that US citizens have been governed for over two centuries by thousands of independent laws across 50 states that were adopted at the whim of male politicians to keep women the legal property of men. In other words, at one time – women had no legal rights to property, wages, custody, divorce, education, sports, public speaking, riding a bicycle or wearing pants! That is because without a federal blanket of protection against sex discrimination, states have the right to control women’s lives and they are abusing that right to undermine women’s progress and full participation in society. Today, female citizens have no guarantee that the countless gender discriminatory laws of the past have been eradicated because there has been no written, renegotiation of our social contract between the states, the feds and citizens to review and revise laws to make them gender neutral. Not only would the ERA require a formal “house cleaning” of our past legal system but it also considers the present and future action of lawmakers forevermore.
The advantage of amending the constitution vs. relying on laws? Laws are piecemeal. Amendments are comprehensive. Laws are subject to the whims of the Party in power. Constitutional amendments are universal across all 50 states and are long-term sustainable solutions. Any law passed in the United States to protect women can be overturned, undermined or unenforced at any time by a single vote majority or behind closed doors.
Whereas to overturn a constitutional amendment like the ERA would require 2/3 of Congress = [(290 Representatives + 67 senators) + 38 states] and American women would never allow that to happen once we’ve achieved equality.
THE ERA IN THE COURTS
US women do not have the highest standard of protection applied by the Courts when deciding cases. Without the same protection that is applied to race, religion or national origin, women bear an often-impossible burden of having to prove they were a victim of sex discrimination whereas for other forms of discrimination, the burden of proof shifts to the state to justify its actions against race, religion or national origin. When all 50 states plus the District of Columbia have “no-fault” divorce laws which have had an extremely negative impact on the economic stability and well-being of women and children, it’s time America rethink what is fair and practical for prosperity.
Under the ERA, federal and state Courts would have a clear, universal standard to uphold with regards to sex discrimination that is now applied to race, religion and national origin. The ERA elevates protection for women and men at the local, state and federal level to measurably improve outcomes in court while reducing the likelihood of repeat offenses to occur.