Sen. Cardin to Introduce Legislation to Propel Passage of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)

Thursday, March 22, Senator Ben Cardin (MD) to introduce legislation proposed by United 4 Equality, LLC, to eliminate the ratification deadline for the Equal Rights Amendment; thereby rescuing it from 30-year limbo, for final three states needed.
March 12, 2012 - PRLog -- Congress originally passed the ERA in 1972, but specified it had to be ratified by the necessary number of states (38) within 7 years. This deadline was later extended three years for total of 10 years. Nevertheless, by 1982, with 35 out of the 38 states on board, ERA “expired” just three states short of victory.
“ERA ensures that the 14th Amendment will apply to all Women,” says Carolyn Cook, founder and CEO of United 4 Equality, LLC and author of the new ERA strategy.  “Our grassroots coalition urges Congress to remove ERA’s ratification deadline immediately.  Failure to empower women as co-stewards of the future is perilous when world peace and prosperity depends upon their full participation everywhere.”
Cardin’s legislation is the senate companion to H.J. Resolution 47, introduced by Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (WI) and others last March.
Consider that:
•  How states vote on ERA affects not only their constituents but determines the status of all women across the U.S. - whether single, married, separated, divorced, widowed, gay, straight, with children or without children.  
• What impacts women as 2nd class citizens - impacts men and children too.
• U.S. servicewomen risk their lives and have died to protect and defend our constitution that does not protect or defend them.  
• Continued defeat of ERA is anathema to U.S. foreign policy and leadership that pledges to end the human rights abuses of women and girls worldwide.  

The 15 states that failed to ratify the 1972 ERA are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Nevada, South Carolina, and Utah.
Four states to introduce ERA bills in 2012: Virginia, Missouri, Illinois and Florida to be joined by North Carolina, Arkansas, Nevada and Louisiana in 2013.

The full text of the infamous Equal Rights Amendment reads:
Sect 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.
Sect 2. Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
Sect 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.

Practically speaking, the ERA limits the power of government to control women lives.  It would apply the highest standard of judicial review that is used to protect persons of every race, creed and nationality and apply it to 'sex'.  U.S. laws past, present and future would substitute the term ‘male’ or ‘female’ with 'person', so that privileges and policies that favor one sex over another would be extended to benefit both sexes equally.  

Said Cook, “Protective laws can be erased and restrictive laws enacted overnight by Congress or state legislatures.  Alternatively, a constitutional amendment requires a 2/3 majority in Congress + 38 states to overturn.  Discriminatory and cruel legislation being passed against women across the U.S. will not disappear without amending the fundamental social contract that excludes women as full and equal citizens to men under law. American needs the E.R.A. now – not 100 years from now.”

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A woman-owned social justice enterprise headquartered in Washington, DC that is solely committed to the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment in the final three states needed for victory by 2015.
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