Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday Funday: Capitol Hill event Tuesday!

Rep. Carolyn Maloney will be reintroducing the Women's Equality Amendment on Tuesday, July 21st, at 10 a.m. at the House Triangle (on the Capitol side of Independence Avenue across from the Rayburn House Office Building).

This should be a great event, and we'll probably go. If you go too, let us know!

American women's suffrage activist Alice Paul drafted the first version of the Equal Rights Amendment in 1923 to enshrine gender equality in the US Constitution. She rewrote the amendment in 1945, and the 1945 language has been reintroduced in every session of Congress since. The text reads:


Section 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.

Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.

Both houses of Congress passed the amendment in 1972, but by 1982, only 35 states had ratified the amendment, 3 short of the 38 states needed for the amendment's passage. Since then, members of Congress have reintroduced versions of the ERA every year.

Aside from suffrage rights, the Constitution contains no enumerated protections against discrimination on the basis of sex or gender. Including such language in the highest law of the land would hasten the attainment of gender equality and bring us closer to a more perfect union.

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