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ERA WHITE SHEET


Time Limit is Passed for Passage

The original Equal Rights Amendment resolution, which passed Congress on March 22. 1972 set the time limit for the ratification period:  "Seven years from the date of its submission by the Congress."  When the end of the seven years approached and it became clear that three-fourths of the states would NOT ratify the ERA, Congress passed the ERA Time Extension resolution. This act purported to change "seven years" to 10 years, three months and eight days, extending the time to June30, 1982.

After a two-and-a-half year lawsuit. the U.S. District Court ruled on December 23, 1981, in Idaho v. Freeman that the ERA Time Extension was unconstitutional. When the Idaho case was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, it was dismissed as "moot" on October 4, 1982. In support of its ruling the Supreme Court cited as controlling the memorandum of the U.S. Administrator of General Services, who had argued that "the Amendment has failed of adoption no matter what the resolution of the legal issues presented here."

Thus, the Supreme Court of the United State held that the ERA was dead whether ERA expired on March 22, 1979, or on June 30, 1982. To continue trying to gain passage is pointless.


Taxpayer Funded Abortions

Connecticut Superior Court previously flied that the State ERA requires Connecticut taxpayers to pay for abortions, stating: "Since only women become pregnant, discrimination against pregnancy by not funding abortions . . . is sex-oriented discrimination... The court concludes that the regulation that restricts the funding for abortions . . . violates Connecticut's Equal Rights Amendment." (Doe V. Maher, April 9, 1986).

On November 25, 1998, the New Mexico Supreme Court, by a vote of 5-0, ruled that the State's ERA prohibits the State from restricting abortions differently from "medically necessary procedures" sought by men, and the Court ordered the State to pay for elective abortions without restriction under the State's Medicaid program. (N.M. Right to Choose, NARAL, et al  v. Johnson, Nov. 25, 1998).

Same-Sex Marriage Allowance with ERA

In 1993, the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled in Baehr v. Lewin (652 P. 2d 44) that the denial of marriage licenses to same-sex licensees was sex discrimination and unconstitutional under the Equal Rights Amendment of Hawaii's state constitution.  The court remanded the case for trial.  On December 3, 1996, the Hawaii trial court in Baehr v. Miike (Haw. Circ. Ct., Civ. No. 91-1394) enjoined the denial of marriage licenses to same-sex couples, ruling that the state statute allowing only heterosexual marriage was unconstitutional.  In order to undo the damage of the ERA amendment in the Hawaii State Constitution, Hawaii voters had to pass a new constitutional amendment. On November 3, 1996, Hawaii voters passed a constitutional amendment stating that "the legislature shall have the power to reserve marriage to opposite sex couples."

Gains in Women's Equality

According to the book Women's Figures:  An Illustrated Guide to the Economic Progress of Women in America, Furchtgott-Roth, Diana and Stolba, Christine, the assumptions of the feminist movement and women in the workplace -- the wage gap, the glass ceiling, and the pink ghetto - are false.  The claim, instead,

"In a true "apples-to-apples" comparison, the ratio of earnings between women and men, ages 27-33, who do not have children, is about 98 cents on the dollar.

"Between 1960 and 1994, women's wages grew ten times as fast as men's wages.

"Women today earn about 55 percent of all associate, bachelor's and master's degrees, and nearly 40 percent of all first professional degrees (including law and medicine).

"Over 8.5 million women-owned businesses in the United States now employ 23.8 million people and generate $3.1 trillion in annual revenues.  According to the Small Business Administration, women soon will own 35% of small businesses.

In addition, Missouri has already corrected discriminatory laws which were on the books back in the early 1970's.  The legislative process has worked and will continue to work in the future if needs arise.  We don't need to change the U.S. Constitution in order to ensure rights.

Law in Place Currently to Protect Women's Rights

The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees equal protection for everyone under the law.  This amendment has successfully been used in cases of discrimination to protect the rights of women and will continue to do so.  The ERA is not needed to do this.

"Equal Pay" for men and women has been the law of the land for thirty years.  Equal pay means paying the same wage for people who do the same work and have the same qualifications, experience, and merit.  Current wage differences are a factor of different jobs and the related experience required, amount of danger incurred, seniority, amount of training, and other valid factors-not because of discrimination.

The ERA would not have any effect on wages in private business or raise women's wages although the proponents often cite this as a benefit.  The ERA only applies to government entities.  "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States of by any state on account of sex."  To imply an increase in women's wages if the ERA passes, is misleading.