Equal Rights Amendment
Equality in pay, job opportunities, political structure, social security and education will remain an elusive dream without a guarantee of equality in the U.S. Constitution. The progress we have made — and must continue to make — towards women’s equality can be lost at any time because those advances depend on legislation that can be (and has been) weakened or repealed by Congress. Although we did not succeed in ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment, winning a constitutional guarantee of equality for women remains one of NOW’s top priorities.
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.
Florida NOW passed at its January 2003 meeting a resolution reapplying organizational resources to win ratification of the ERA in Florida. Since then, we have continuously engaged in a multi-faceted campaign, including lobbying of the Legislature, hosting Rallies in Tallahassee, garnering support of like-minded organizations, and letter-writing.
What you can do:
- Contact your City or County Commission to get them to support the ratification of the ERA.
- Get your other civic organizations to sign on, and work for, the ERA.
- Gather signatures for an advertisement to be placed in your local paper.
- Write letters to the Editor to your local paper. See sample below.
- Contact your local Representatives and Senators to be a co-sponsor of the ERA.
Sample Letter to the Editor
To the Editor:
Just 35 of 38 states required have ratified the Equal Rights Amendment. The 27th Amendment penned by James Madison and ratified 203 years later shows that there is no deadline for ratification. The ERA would enable courts to give strict scrutiny to sex discrimination complaints. Ironically, some of the more unjust cases in the last 20 years have involved men, so the ERA is good for everyone.
Urge your legislators to ratify the concurrent resolutions that have been filed again this year in the Florida State Senate and House.